Second only to Erling Haaland - Julián Álvarez continues to thrive as Man City goalscorer
Red Star Belgrade almost caused the shock of the season when they opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night. Against Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Manchester City side, it was the Serbian minnows that found the back of the net first when Osman Bukari tried his luck from the edge of the box only to see his shot tuck inside the right post. Suddenly the European champions were losing.
Man City got back on their feet in the second half and were spared some serious blushes when none other than young striker Julián Álvarez put the visitors to the sword with a remarkable finish to level the scoring two minutes into the second half. Then, as if to single-handedly ensure the win, the young striker scored a second with an outstanding free-kick just 13 minutes later. And it’s not the first time that the 23-year-old forward has outshone some of Man City’s bigger stars.
How good has Álvarez been for Man City?
Indeed, since signing for the Premier League giants in 2022 for €21.4 million, Álvarez has been something of a surprise package in Guardiola’s side. By no means the most expensive addition to one of the most costly teams in the history of the sport, the Argentine striker has quickly become a vital member of a team that conquered all before them last season. And the forward certainly played his part with 17 goals and five assists in all competitions.
While Erling Haaland is unquestionably the club’s star striker, Álvarez has proved to be the perfect back-up striker for Man City. Capable of playing in the Norwegian player’s role or alongside him, the former River Plate star has now picked up 21 goals and nine assists in just 56 games. Which works out at an impressive 0.85 goals and assists per 90 minutes across all competitions. In fact, since joining the club only Haaland has scored more league goals for Man City than Álvarez. Further underlining how important he has become to Guardiola’s side. A fact that was certainly not lost on Red Star on Tuesday night.