clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Julian Alvarez More than Just a Backup for Erling Haaland

Argentine Star Making His Own Legacy

Manchester City v Fluminense: Final - FIFA Club World Cup Saudi Arabia 2023 Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Julian Alvarez is rarely mentioned as a key player for Manchester City. But that has not stopped the Argentine from building his own legacy at the club. Although his move to the Etihad Stadium has largely been overshadowed by the colossal success of a certain Erling Haaland, the Calchin-born forward is silently making a name for himself.

Since moving to the Etihad Stadium, Haaland has been the name on everybody’s lips as the main man for Manchester City. The Norwegian has been a monster in front of goal, breaking records with reckless abandon and powering Manchester City to an unprecedented treble last term. But Alvarez has also played a significant role in that success.

The Argentina international often steps up when Haaland has a bad day, or adds his own quarter to get the team over the line. On both the domestic and continental scene, he always performs. He quietly goes about his business getting the job done while others get the praise.

Such has been his style, which he brought to the fore in the just concluded Club World Cup. At a time when both Haaland and the team as a whole have not been at their best, someone needed to step up. And step up he did, far away in Saudi Arabia.

With Haaland currently recuperating from injury, the team has been struggling to win games recently. Although a lack of goals has not been the main problem in the team, scoring one more in the recent several draws could have easily turned a point into three. Outscoring the opponent has always been City’s way, even before Pep Guardiola arrived.

The team is built to attack and score goals. But the consequence is that it also concedes its fair share. If that brings success, who cares?

The Blues won their first Premier League title on goal difference back in 2012 and for the last decade-plus, goals have always been in abundance. For City, the philosophy is simple; attack remains the best form of defence.

It’s understandable, then, that at one point City had three world-class strikers in the team - the likes of Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli. When Aguero finally bowed out followed by Gabriel Jesus, City found a capable replacement in Haaland. And of course, a backup striker was also needed.

Enter Julian Alvarez.

The Argentine’s latest performance in the Middle East ranks among his best yet for the club. He put forth a man-of-the-match performance scoring twice and setting up the third of City’s goals against Fluminense, with an own-goal from the opponent completing a 4-0 drubbing.

In a historic match that put City up there among the European heavyweights, Alvarez showed just how important he can be for the club. The 23-year-old is proving able to hold his own and carry the team when needed. That he is more than just a placeholder for Haaland.

His ability to play in different positions makes him even more of an asset for City than many think. Together with the big man, they can only make City stronger.