Youth is certainly wasted on the young – a saying so apt when one thinks of young footballers. Too enamoured by their own potential and unwilling to resist the lure of a footballer’s lifestyle, youthful talent is now met with apprehension instead of excitement. However, whilst the likes of Neymar are busy pondering their future role as a father, Alvarez is still happily living the life of a youngster. Humble, proud and severely attached to his family, breakfast with his father is still a cherished ritual at the Alvarez household. Raised with morals, criticised for laziness and yet lavished with unconditional support, the Argentine has been taught to seek success whatever the price.
Technically brilliant, Velez Sarsfield’s player has received worldwide recognition due to his versatility and incredible handling of the ball. Usually deployed as a trequartista, behind the offensive trio or as a left winger, the youngster’s acceleration, affinity with the ball and superb technique in one on ones has helped his club win trophies as well as catching the eye of several European clubs, including Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
Alvarez’s playing style has not only matured but he has also converted himself into a game-changing player important of displaying the necessary quality to win difficult matches. The game against San Lorenzo in April is perhaps the perfect example. A squad overwhelmed by the physical burdens of a packed schedule and grappling with fatigue, Alvarez’s dynamic performance, incredible work-rate and extreme dedication lifted the team to register yet another victory. Taking over creative duties, the youngster shone under the light of added pressure as he relinquished all pride, focused on chasing every ball and ended it by taking on two defenders to deliver a delicious ball to his teammate Augusta Fernandez who scored. It was this match that not only demonstrated the player’s ease at performing to expectation but his willingness to put the team ahead of personal glory.
Once upon a time known as the incessant dribbler enamoured by vertical play, he has since become more tactically aware, refining his technique and offering precise passes which prove more useful than his marauding runs forward. This season has seen him especially blossom in a team blessed with arguably the most potent offensive unit in the league. Able to play whatever role in midfield, the player’s great left foot and hunger to learn has seen him win over both his Coach and fans by continually providing worthwhile performances.
However, more than playing style, Alvarez boasts incredible mental strength. Whilst newspapers and critics clamber to describe the career threatening injuries the player has suffered in addition to the fact he was rejected by Boca due to his scrawny build and slow growth rate, few recognise it appears no obstacle is too big for the player to overcome. Never one to give up whether in football or in life, the youngster is bound to revel in Inter’s style of play and Giampiero Gasperini’s exhausting tactics.
Whether deployed on the left as part of an attacking trident or positioned in midfield, the Argentine should offer Inter relentless determination, great experience and an insatiable appetite for success. Of course nothing in football can be guaranteed and at this stage, the purchase of the youngster is certainly a gamble. However, it is worth noting this was a boy first spotted by Rámon Maddoni, the technical director who first realised the potential in the likes of Fernando Redondo, Carlos Tevez, and Esteban Cambiasso and the man known to have made Boca Juniors an estimated $150m from the sale of players he initially had spotted and nurtured.