Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has raved about the rise of Julian Alvarez in his squad, following a challenging first season at the club.
The Argentina international, who won the FIFA World Cup trophy in Qatar last winter, has been in stellar form for the Treble winners during the opening weeks of the campaign, operating in a slightly deeper attacking role than usual.
With the absence of Kevin De Bruyne expected to remain in place until early 2024, Julian Alvarez has been utilised in an attacking midfield role in most outings, suppling the attacking line from the centre of the park but finding opportunities to shoot from distance.
Most recently, Alvarez was at the centre of a remarkable late showing at the Red Bull Arena in Germany, as Manchester City secured a 1-3 win on the road against RB Leipzig to go three points clear at the top of their group.
Speaking after the game, manager Pep Guardiola was keen to praise the patience shown by Julian Alvarez during his time at the club so far, and highlight that the player is now reaping the rewards for remaining focussed.
“When a player is a world champion with Argentina and plays in the starting XI for Argentina, it’s because he is a good player,” Guardiola said. “Last season he arrived in a moment when we had John (Stones), Rodri, Kevin (De Bruyne), (Ilkay) Gundo(gan) and it was working well and he didn’t get many minutes but he never complained and look what happened now.”
The Manchester City manager continued, “When you have this positivity and go there, make three runs, two or three crosses, make an outstanding goal again – it’s not the first time he scored this type of goal.
“In 10, 15 minutes the impact was huge. To have these players on the bench with this mentality is really important.”
Julian Alvarez is expected to earn yet another start this weekend having began the outing in Germany from the substitutes bench, as Manchester City travel to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium with a view towards remaining top of the Premier League during the international break.
City had maintained a 100 per cent winning start to the new season up until last weekend, when Wolverhampton Wanderers put in an exemplary counter-attacking performance to register a 2-1 win at Molineux.
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