Aston Villa could be about to sign their own version of Gonzalo Higuain after they were linked with a move for River Plate striker Julian Alvarez.
The 21-year-old Argentine striker has been on fire this season, scoring 17 goals and registering seven assists in 20 appearances in the Argentine top flight to push them to the top of the table after 24 games.
His fine form has seen him likened to Manchester United and Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo in the past, but it’s his former teammate Higuain who has been singing the praises of the young striker.
Both Alvarez and Higuain came through the famed River Plate academy and the former Chelsea loanee has revealed that he sees a lot of himself in the striker who has so far earned five caps for the Argentina national team.
Speaking to ESPN Higuain declared: “He is the best striker that River Plate has. He has scored 20 goals and half of Europe wants him.
“I saw how he moves, how he uses both feet. I see him similar to me in terms of his hunger, the desire to make it, the desire to learn.
“I love him in every way, how he plays, his humility… it makes me very happy that he is doing well.”
Combine that with his goal record and it’s there is every reason to believe that he could become as devastating as Higuain was in his career. After all, he’s also been compared to some other great South American strikers. River manager Marcelo Gallardo once said: “He is constantly hungry and I see that in players like Suarez, Cavani and Julián Alvarez.”
The forward has a €2om (£17m) release clause in his contract with the Argentine giants but they are hopeful of tying him down to a long-term contract.
Aston Villa currently have both Danny Ings and Ollie Watkins as central striker options, but with Ings turning 30 later this season there is no harm in looking ahead to the future. Watkins has been fielded on the wing at times this season and like Alvarez, became a striker after initially breaking through on the flanks.
It would also take the pressure off those two in front of goal and would allow Gerrard to be more flexible tactically, possibly playing two up front on occasion and still having a spare forward for the bench. The options in the squad will allow Alvarez plenty of time to adapt and bed in without too much pressure, while also bolstering the squad and adding firepower to a team that has only managed 21 goals in 15 games so far this season.
AND in other news, Aston Villa not regretting decision to reject £110k p/w “liability” last summer.