How good is Julian Alvarez? An introduction to the Man United transfer target

Recent reports have linked the Argentinian striker Julian Alvarez to Manchester United.

At age 21, Alvarez is one of Argentina’s most promising young players. This year, he was called up for their senior national team and won the Copa America.

Alvarez used to be something of a teenage star. He was a Real Madrid academy player for two years, but he couldn’t legally sign for them as he had yet to turn 13.

Once his Madrid stint was over, he returned to Argentina, where he climbed up the River Plate ranks. After making his professional debut in 2018, he went on to become a fully-fledged member of the first team.

Due to his height and scoring ability with both feet, Alvarez has drawn comparisons to Sergio Aguero.

How much would Julian Alvarez cost United?

Alvarez has a relatively low-priced release clause. According to reports in Argentina, United would be happy to pay the €20m to release him from his River Plate contract.

That being said, United are hardly the only interested team. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, and Bayern Munich all have their eyes on the Argentinian youngster.

All five interested clubs would be more than capable of paying Alvarez’s release clause. That means that the decision will be up to him.

What does Julian Alvarez play like?

Nicknamed “The Spider”, Alvarez is a 5ft 7in forward with good command of the ball. Far from being a sturdy number nine, Alvarez is a mobile and versatile attacker who has also performed well on the wings.

This season, he has scored 18 goals and assisted his teammates nine times in only 21 games for River Plate.

He has come up big for his team this season. Alvarez hit a brace against Boca Juniors in the Argentinian Clásico and a hat-trick against San Lorenzo.

His performance against title contender Talleres was outstanding, with his one assist sealing River Plate’s 2-0 win.

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Thanks to Alvarez’s huge contributions, River Plate claimed their first league title since 2014.

Does Alvarez make sense for United?

As everyone knows, United aren’t short of options in attack. Even established players like Edinson Cavani or Marcus Rashford struggle to get regular playing time.

That’s not to mention Anthony Martial or Jesse Lingard, who seem set to leave United for good.

Alvarez is a promising young attacker, but United have plenty of those already. Rashford, Sancho, and Greenwood are all under 24 and in need of consistent minutes.

Furthermore, Manchester United have urgent needs in midfield and in the defensive area. Those signings should take priority over another striker.

If Julian Alvarez were to sign for United, he would most likely end up on loan somewhere initially. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth signing. Ralf Rangnick may not want to let this potential once-in-a-generation talent slip away.