Aston Villa transfer target Julian Alvarez has been compared to former star Gary Shaw as news emerges over the club’s transfer interest in the Argentine.
Reports in recent days have claimed that Fernando Hidalgo, the agent of the 21-year-old, is set to meet with Aston Villa’s representatives over a summer move to the Midlands.
Given the kind of rave reviews he has received, the £13.5m-rated ace could well turn out to be a major success at Villa Park were he to join Dean Smith’s side.
Speaking on BBC 5 Live’s World Football Phone-In, South American football expert Tim Vickery said: “I’m a huge fan of Julian Alvarez and I’ve written quite a lot about him already, I think he’s sheer class. He’s not really an out-and-out centre-forward, he’s not really a winger, he’s someone who likes to move across the attacking line, so it’s not easy to fit him into every system. I’ve even seen him used as an attacking midfielder.
“Perhaps for Villa fans, maybe one comparison I would make is with Gary Shaw – and I think Gary Shaw was a great player who was deprived of unbelievable greatness by injuries. I think Alvarez has something of that in him; he’s very classy and he’s really bright.”
Shaw played 165 times across a decade-long spell at Villa Park, scoring 59 goals, and he helped the club to win the First Division in the 1980/81 campaign before playing a big hand in the European Cup triumph a year later.
Like the 5 foot 10 Shaw, the slightly smaller Alvarez (5 foot 7) also has a real eye for goal, managing 11 goal contributions in 20 games for one of Argentina’s biggest and most iconic clubs last season in River Plate.
His average of 1.7 dribbles per game is actually higher than Villa’s recent signing Emi Buendia (1.6), while he has also shown an ability to be a real danger in the final third by averaging an impressive 1.6 key passes and 1.3 shots per match.
Smith could well sign the club’s new Shaw in Alvarez.