Manchester City are on the verge of signing Argentine superstar Julian Alvarez from River Plate.
The Premier League giants will pay around £20million for the 21-year-old talented forward, pawning off a host of Europe’s top clubs for his signature.
Rated as the best player to come out of South America since Neymar, Alvarez could already make his trade in LaLiga.
As a youngster, Alvarez made a trial with Real Madrid at the age of 11. However, the rules allowed Los Blancos to include him in their academy.
Instead, he rose through the ranks in his homeland in the river, winning the Copa Libertadores, and was last season’s top scorer in the Argentine Primera División.
It should come as no surprise that he has been called the successor to City legend Sergio Aguero, who recently retired.
And he also likes himself as a singer – recently joined his favorite band Los Caligaris on stage at a show in Buenos Aires.
From a young age, growing up in the northern city of Calchin, in the province of Córdoba, Argentina, Alvarez showed a natural ability.
He started out at his local club, Atlético Calchin, before embarking on the journey to find a professional club.
After a trial with Boca Juniors, River’s fierce rivals, he moved to Spain with Real Madrid.
Back in 2011, he played for them in a youth tournament and scored twice. They were keen to keep an eye on him, but signing Alvarez would prove impossible.
Also, with the issue of his family settling in Argentina, lvarez did not want to be separated by his blood.
“I was playing the children’s championship at Real Madrid, I was 11 years old, but only 13 Real Madrid could definitely sign me to the club,” he told Argentine newspaper Clarins.
“To do that at the time, my whole family had to move and we had to settle there. I went back to Cordoba.”
In 2016, Alvarez joined River Plate and played in the now defunct Generation Adidas Cup – a tournament that serves as a springboard for the stars of tomorrow.
Leading his attack, it was no surprise that River won the competition that year and in 2017.
Already, there were shocking reports about the teenager being fed the team’s first coach, Marcelo Gallardo.
In 2018, he was handed his debut as a final half-hour substitute in a 1–0 Primera División win against Aldoivi.
Just a few months later, he came off the bench in the Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors.
Not only did he win the plaudits, he also got his hands on his first piece of silver as Rivers saw Boca go 5–3 on aggregate.
But it wasn’t until 2019 that Alvarez could celebrate his first goal in the famous red and white shirt – scoring in a 3-0 win over the Independent. A star was born.
Gallardo made him a star
Under enigmatic Argentine coach Gallardo, who draws comparisons to Pep Guardiola in South America for his coaching methods, Alvarez’s game has improved tenfold.
In 2020, he became a goal-scoring machine – scoring five goals in six Copa Libertadores group stage games.
It was this form that saw Alvarez make his way into the manager’s eleven while playing as a main striker or on the flank.
But, his 14-goal contribution in all competitions came with a warning. Can he repeat his success? Or it will prove to be the wonder of a season.
He didn’t just repeat it, he did it better.
Taking his game to new heights, he was Primera División’s top scorer, having made a lethal 18 strikes in just 21 games in the previous campaign.
River Plate won the title thanks to goals from Alvarez and were indebted to the youngster.
He was also given the South American Footballer of the Year Award, joining the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona and Neymar.
His star has reached the point where now pop bands want him as part of their acting.
Over the weekend, he joined the popular group Los Caligaris at a concert at the Tecnopolis music venue.
Watching them from the edge of the stage, they are soon given a microphone to help them sing along to their hit Rezon.
At the Qatar World Cup 2022 in December, Alvarez is also expected to take center stage and show his talent to a wider audience – having already helped his country win the 2021 Copa America.
Should he excel, fans in the city will be licking his lips in anticipation of his arrival.