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“He has to continue” – Pep Guardiola urges Manchester City star to maintain exemplary start to season



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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has raved about Julián Álvarez’s attitude at the club amid the forward’s ongoing purple patch to start the season.

The Argentina international and 2023 World Cup winner has started the 2023/24 campaign in a rich vein of form, seeing a major increase in playing time largely due to the Blues’ mounting injury list at the start of the campaign.

Jack Grealish and Kevin De Bruyne have both missed substantial time, with the latter set to be out until the new year after undergoing hamstring surgery following a reoccurring problem during the opening Premier League match at Burnley.

As a result, the former River Plate man has picked up a new role in attacking midfield, having typically been deployed in Erling Haaland’s role at centre-forward, now operating in-behind the Norwegian but being fluid in the forward set-up.

Julian Alvarez has benefitted greatly however, starting in six of Manchester City’s seven games in all competitions so far and five consecutive matches – a feat he did not accomplish until late in the 2022/23 season.

The Argentine forward has chipped in with four goals and four assists across those appearances, playing a key role in the club’s perfect start to the campaign.

Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League showdown with Nottingham Forest this weekend, Pep Guardiola lauded Julian Álvarez’s purple patch, despite the 23-year-old arguably not being one of the star names in the team.

“Always has good behaviour, playing or not playing, being a world champion or not,” Pep Guardiola said. “Always the same. The perfect dose of disappointment when he doesn’t play, but always ready for the opportunity.

“Right now with the injuries, he’s had minutes and he gives us a lot of good things. That’s why he’s playing, but he has to continue. Many games, some games he won’t play, hopefully players come back and fight for positions.”

Álvarez should expect to remain one of the first names on the team sheet in the coming weeks as Manchester City head into a tough stretch of games across several competitions with a relatively thin squad.

The Blues will play eight games before the end of October, including Premier League clashes with Arsenal and Manchester United, and a UEFA Champions League trip to face off with Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig.