Saturday, August 13, 2022

Aston Villa Face Tough Battle For This Gifted Centre-Forward: Should Smith Step Up His Efforts?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Infobae claimed that Aston Villa are facing a tough battle for River Plate centre-forward Julian Alvarez. It is understood that the Villans will have to rival Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan and Valencia in the race to recruit the Argentine striker.

Alvarez’s Impressive Rise In Argentine Football

The 21-year-old has risen through the youth ranks of River Plate and deserves credit for establishing himself as a top performer of their frontline. Alvarez has made 87 appearances for his current employers thus far, netting 26 goals and providing 22 assists in the process on all fronts.

The Calchin-born talent has been productive with his offensive contributions after he averaged 2.8 shots, 1.6 key passes and 2.0 dribbles per game in the Liga Profesional. However, he was a bit untidy when distributing the ball in the attacking third of the pitch, based on his pass completion rate of 69.5% in the Argentine top tier (stats via whoscored).

Aston Villa (Julian Alvarez)
BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA – OCTOBER 03: Julian Alvarez of River Plate leaves the pitch after being replaced during a match between River Plate and Boca Juniors as part of Torneo Liga Profesional 2021 at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on October 03, 2021 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (
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Should Aston Villa Boss Dean Smith Step Up His Efforts For Alvarez?

Alvarez can create a yard of space for himself to get a few shots in on target. He has also proven his worth as a decent playmaker in and around the opponent’s penalty area. More importantly, Alvarez has added a lot of goals to his game that makes him such a highly rated striker in Argentine football. He is primarily a centre-forward but can even fill in as a right-sided winger if needed.

At 21, the South American attacker has the potential to become a future star at the highest level, so it is only logical for the Villans head coach Dean Smith to step up his efforts to acquire the services of the River Plate wonderkid in the not-too-distant future.

Alvarez will add some healthy competition for both Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings at Villa Park in the coming seasons. Plus, the West Midlands outfit should look to build a strong squad for the long run which makes the Argentine youngster a good option for Smith to pursue when the transfer window commences in January or at the end of this campaign.

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