Sergio Aguero has provided a glowing endorsement for Argentina compatriot Julian Alvarez after his move to Manchester City.
That’s the message from former City and England defender Joleon Lescott, who expects Alvarez to be a key figure in Pep Guardiola’s Premier League side for years to come.
Alvarez signed a £14m ($18.8m) five-and-a-half-year deal with Premier League champions River Plate back in January before being loaned back to his former club.
The 22-year-old caught City’s eye early on with 20 goals and 12 assists in 35 games in Argentina’s Primera Division last year, with those 32 straight goals at least six more than any other player in 2021.
He has added a further 11 goals in 15 league games in 2022 and while it is unclear whether Alvarez will be loaned out again, Lescott revealed the striker has the support of City great Aguero.
“He certainly has the quality [to perform in the Premier League],” Lescott told City’s official website.
“I’ve seen a few bits but I also spoke to Sergio about him briefly and he said he’s a top talent. He was excited about him, which was good, so there will be high expectations.”
“Sergio said he will score goals. He can also excite the fans,” said Sergio, perhaps more than him, not in terms of scoring but in terms of the way he plays.
“He wants to dribble a bit more than what Sergio did, which was more ‘let me score’, which was great for us, but a different mindset.
“But with people like [Gabriel] Jesus leaving, you don’t do that unless you replace him with an exceptional talent as well. I’m excited for him and hope he gets opportunities to score.”
Alvarez will provide strong competition to Erling Haaland if the Argentine remains at the Etihad Stadium for the entire season.
Haaland scored 86 goals in 89 games during his two-and-a-half-year spell at Borussia Dortmund, bettered only by Robert Lewandowski (123 in 108 games) and Kylian Mbappe (93 in 111 games) among Europe’s top players. five leagues during this period.
Despite there being plenty of competition in Guardiola’s squad, Lescott has encouraged Alvarez to take his pre-season opportunities rather than settle for a back-up role behind Haaland.
“I’m sure Julian came and wants to play and not just watch Erling Haaland score goals and perform,” he added.
“There’s an opportunity for him to play and I’m sure he’ll step up and do well. The age of the squad is good, it helps keep everyone competitive.”
“The younger guys from City’s academy will also respect what it is. They will understand that yes they need to perform, yes they need to train well and prepare for any season.