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OFFICIAL: City unveil Julian Alvarez – "I want to put my stamp on the club like Aguero and Tevez..."

Manchester City unveiled Julian Alvarez this morning after the player signed from River Plate at the beginning of the year, having signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Premier League champions at the end of January.

 

Alvarez will wear the number 19 shirt at the Etihad Stadium.

Photo courtesy of Manchester City

When the striker was signed by the Blues at the beginning of the year and loaned back, it was initially expected that he would see out the remainder of the South American season with River Plate, which could have seen him link up with his teammates in Manchester at the beginning of 2023.


However, it was made clear via multiple sources and the player's agent that City could bring the forward to Manchester ahead of time if they agreed to pay an extra £1.3 million on top of the £14.1 million initially agreed.


In April, it became apparent through sources in Argentina that Pep Guardiola's side had informed River Plate that they would be exercising the £1.3 million option to bring Alvarez to the club in the summer indefinitely.

The 22-year-old has emerged as the best talent in South America over the past two seasons and was named South American Footballer of the Year for 2021 after scoring 24 goals and assisting a further 15 in 46 appearances in all competitions – helping River Plate win the Primera Division as the league's top goalscorer with 18 goals.


In 2022, Alvarez has 17 goals and 6 assists in 24 appearances in all club competitions and scored his first Argentina goal in a 1-1 draw with Ecuador in World Cup qualifying in March.


His last River Plate game came against Velez Sarsfield in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores round-of-16 in the early hours of Thursday morning.


The centre-forward will arrive in Manchester over the weekend ahead of his unveiling along with Erling Haaland, Stefan Ortega and Kalvin Phillips at the Etihad Stadium's West Reception on Sunday, 10th July, with the event beginning at 1 pm BST.


Speaking to the club website, Alvarez expressed his delight at joining the side:

"I am incredibly happy and I feel ready to play for City. This is, without doubt, one of the biggest teams in world football. You only have to see what this team has won in the last decade to understand the quality of the setup. I feel confident I can flourish here. The style of play Pep encourages is exciting and I can’t wait to be a part of it."
"City has an amazing recent history of Argentinian players and I want to put my stamp on the club in the same way Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Tevez did."
"I am so thankful for everything River Plate did for me and I want to thank the fans, staff and players for their support. But I am now 100% focused on Manchester City. I want to give my best to this club, help my teammates and contribute to Manchester City’s success."
"I am very excited and proud having come this far. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. As a boy, I always dreamed of playing in Europe, playing for the best clubs, in the major leagues and so to be here today is a privilege. I have watched a lot of City games. It's very satisfying to watch them play. City are one of the best clubs in the world and they have an incredible playing style."

On working with Pep Guardiola, Alvarez said:

"I was able to talk to him in February, when the signing was confirmed. He welcomed me to the club. I am glad to be part of the City project. I think he is one of the best coaches in the world and he has been at incredibly successful clubs. I want to do a good job for him, to continue growing as a footballer and as a person."

Alvarez on his preferred position:

"I have played in different positions, but I would say I know how to find space in attack, and I am a good finisher, too. I feel comfortable playing either role. I can do it outside [wide] or inside, but being inside I have scored more goals, obviously because of the distance to goal."

On the number 19 shirt:

"I have been using the number nine until now and I wanted the number nine to be on my shirt. And it is also an important date because the 19th was my grandmother's birthday."

Alvarez on speaking with Sergio Aguero ahead of the move:

"We all know how important Kun was for Manchester City and what he means for the world too, as a club player and as a player for the Argentinian national team as well. I had the opportunity to speak with him and he told me many things about the city, about the teammates, about Manchester City in general. I also spoke with Willy Caballero and Nicolas Otamendi since we are teammates in the national team. I am very excited about what's to come and I'm very happy to be part of this club."

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said:

"I said when we announced the signing we were getting a player of significant potential and everything we have seen from him since then has only confirmed that. He scores all kinds of goals and has real variety in his game. We feel with the manager and staff we have here, he can develop even further and become a really top player."

The signing of South America's Footballer of the Year for 2021 for a price under £20 million represents astute business and the club's global scouting prowess in an inflated market.


Alvarez provides Guardiola with a different option to Haaland in the central striker position and also provides the opportunity for both strikers to play together in what could be a truly formidable partnership given their respective prolific finishing quality.

Photo courtesy of Manchester City
 

Written by: @NA1907_


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