Manchester City’s new striker Julian Alvarez has proved why the Sky Blues paid around £14million for the Argentinian from River Plate in January.
City completed the signing of the 22-year-old forward earlier this year but Alvarez returned to River Plate on loan, with the striker set to link up with Pep Guardiola’s side in the summer. Alvarez, in action for The Millionaires on Wednesday night, scored six goals during an 8-1 win over Peruvian side Alianza Lima in the group stages of the Copa Libertadores.
Alvarez scored hat-tricks in both halves of the tie. His first half hat-trick came in the space of 26 minutes, netting in the 15 th , 18 th and 41 st minutes of the tie, with the third, a 25-yard strike being the pick of the bunch.
Alvarez’s second half trio came in the space of 29 minutes, converting in the 54 th , 57 th and 83 rd minutes of the game, taking his overall match tally to six goals in 68 minutes.
Data from The Analyst shows that Alvarez had eight shots in tie, with six of them being converted. The average expected goal value (xG) of each of his attempts was 0.23, giving him an xG for that match of only 1.84, despite scoring six goals.
River Plate had already sealed top spot and a place in the round of 16 of the competition, but Alvarez continued his impressive form for the campaign ahead of linking up with Guardiola’s side later this year.
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In 2022, Alvarez has scored 15 times in 18 appearances in all competitions for River Plater, with six of those coming in Wednesday’s win over Alianza Lima. He has scored six goals in as many Copa Libertadores appearances this term, as well as eight goals in 11 matches in Argentina’s top-flight.
The forward, who can also play out wide, is set to link up with the Sky Blues ahead of next season alongside fellow striker arrival Erling Haaland, who City signed from Borussia Dortmund for £51.2m earlier this month.
With the two arriving at the Etihad Stadium imminently, there could be an exit in the forward line for Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, who have reportedly held talks with the 25-year-old.
City recorded their sixth Premier League crown on Sunday, all of which have been in the last decade, with a dramatic 3-2 win over Aston Villa.
Guardiola’s side found themselves 2-0 down following goals from Matty Cash and Philippe Coutinho with less than 20 minutes to go, with Ilkay Gundogan (twice) and Rodri netting to seal a 3-2 victory.
Having only won the title by a point, they will hope that the arrivals of Haaland and Alvarez will further boost their title credentials next season.