Saturday, 25 June 2011

Who is Ricardo Alvarez?

With Arsenal fans crying out for Arsene Wenger to spend a little bit of cash and compete with the their Premiership rivals in this summer’s transfer window, on things such as a new centre back, a goalkeeper, or a striker. A player with experience, someone with commitment and a desire to win titles, an interesting transfer story broke yesterday afternoon from one of the most unlikely sources. Maurizio Zamparini, the president of Italian side U.S. Città di Palermo, declared their interest in Velez Sarsfield midfielder Ricardo Alvarez, yet curiously at the same time pulled his side out of the running for the signing of the 23 year old, claiming he had “already signed for the Gunners (Arsenal)”.

The 23 year old Argentinean has made 42 appearances for the Buenos Aires based club, and has chipped in with 5 goals. He is a left footed, attacking midfielder capable of operating on either the left side of midfield or in the central attacking midfield role. He is seen as more of a winger with flair, great technical abilities and dribbling skills.

He was first linked with the Gunners after Arsenal Chief Scout; Steve Rowley was seen assessing the Argentine playing for his club side in a Primera Division game last month. Rumours of a transfer fee of around £11 million have been touted in the British media. Now of course, this is just speculation at the moment, and we know Arsenal of all clubs, are the most secretive when it comes to transfers, and nothing can be confirmed until it’s on the clubs official website (forget BBC news, twitter or Sky Sports, it’s become accustomed to their recent transfers of the past few seasons).

Another intriguing underlying concept to this transfer story is that it came on the same day as Spanish giants rekindled their persistent pursuit of Arsenal’s club captain Cesc Fabregas, and made derisory £27 million bid. The Catolonia bred playmaker, who has a fondness for Arsenal and more specifically Arsene Wenger, has Barcelona in his blood, and is yet to commit himself to the North London side this summer. This has left some media outlets, and even Arsenal fans, sounding out Ricardo Alvarez as a replacement for the 24 year old Spanish World Cup winner.

Alvarez, a player with limited information available in the UK (but has lots of YouTube videos) is 6ft 2in with great balance and determination. He’s been compared to Robert Pires when he first joined from Marseille, and is said to impact games in spells, rather than be a persistent influence throughout the match (similar to the way he Andrey Arshavin has been playing of late, Arsenal fans will no longer allow passenger on the pitch anymore in my opinion).

It remains to be seen if this deal will actually materialise, and I could have wasted an hour writing this blog post up, but with the amount of Arsenal fans that have tweeted me asking about this “Alvarez bloke”, I thought I’d give some of the info I could actually find on the 23 year old. Arsenal apparently now only faces competition from Inter, Malaga, Sevilla, Schalke and Roma for Alvarez, and he reportedly has a £10.6 million release clause in his contract.

Here’s all you need to know

Age: 23 - April 12th 1988
Position: Left Winger, Attacking Midfielder, Second Striker
Club Apps: 42 Club Goals: 5
Argentina Primera Division: 2009, 2011

Below is a video of the Ricardo Alvarez in action

Real Talk Football

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