Micah Richards has expressed his surprise at the caliber of play Julian Alvarez has recently displayed for Manchester City.
In his most recent match for the Citizens, a 3-1 Champions League victory over Red Star Belgrade, the 23-year-old scored twice.
One analyst and former City player has said he initially had reservations about the striker, who is now in position to increase his season goal total in this afternoon’s Premier League encounter against Nottingham Forest at the Etihad Stadium.
Richards had the following to say about Alvarez in a recent episode of The Rest is Football.
“I’ll be honest, with Alvarez, I didn’t think he was at the level—I know he won the World Cup, but I didn’t think he was like a Haaland, a superstar.
I didn’t think Alvarez was a superstar, but he has since pleasantly surprised me. Not only can he score goals, but he can also make goals.
The Argentinean international’s first season at City saw him make 49 appearances across all competitions, scoring 17 goals and assisting five more.
Alvarez has been productive in front of goal thus far this season, as evidenced by his four goals and four assists.
In reality, throughout the course of City’s five Premier League games, the striker has created more goals (5) and made more vital passes (16) than any other player on the team, supporting Richards’ assertion that Alvarez is equally effective at both scoring and setting up goals.
Richards may not have viewed the 23-year-old as a future superstar, but he is already establishing himself as a key member of Guardiola’s team for City this year. If he can maintain his current rate of goal scoring and assist production for the remainder of the season, City may be able to defend their title.
WHAT’S NEXT: City will decide whether or not to appeal the red card next week and get a reduction in Rodri’s suspension, although it appears they’ll be unlikely to succeed. Their next Premier League game is away to Wolves on September 30.