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2023/24 season overview: Julian Alvarez

2023/24 season overview: Julian Alvarez
2023/24 season overview: Julian Alvarez

Julian Alvarez’s uncanny ability to collect silverware continued in another fantastic season by the Argentinian.

If you want to see what a particular winners’ medal look like, you could do worse than ask the Manchester City forward because he’s probably got it in his collection.

After an extraordinary debut season at the Etihad Stadium where he won the World Cup in a mid-season break before returning to help City to a historic Treble, he added another three more this season.

The 24-year-old added the European Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and a second Premier League winners’ medal to a haul that would be the envy of most players.

His performance in Saudi Arabia was particularly pivotal as we became world champions for the first time and collected a trophy that is highly coveted in South America.

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After beating Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds in the semi-finals we face Copa Liberatadores champions and Brazilian giants Fluminense.

But Alvarez took just 40 seconds to put us ahead when he pounced on a loose ball following Nathan Ake’s thunderbolt came back off the post.

His low cross then set up Phil Foden to strike in the second half before his neat finish rounded off an emphatic 4-0 victory.

That took him into double figures before Christmas Day and he returned to score in City’s next three matches as our challenge for a record fourth Premier League title in a row kicked into gear.

That was in the midst of two-month enforced absence to striker Erling Haaland with a stress reaction in a bone with Alvarez stepping into his role leading the line.

As well as goals against Everton away and Sheffield United before the turn of the year, he also scored in the FA Cup mauling over Huddersfield Town and twice in the victory over Burnley as part of a 10-game winning streak.

Not that it was an either-or decision between the forwards  for City boss Pep Guardiola with the flexibility of Alvarez making him a vital part of our success.

Haaland and Alvarez started 25 matches together, with the Argentinian able to manoeuvre between playing as a second striker, on either wing or as a number 10, helping to cover the injury absence of Kevin De Bruyne as well.

Both attackers held their nerve from the penalty spot back in August when we won the European Super Cup in Athens against Sevilla, setting the tone by scoring the first two in the shootout.

In fact, Alvarez has become a deadball specialist taking free-kicks in danger zones and corners.

He curled a wonderful free-kick into the top corner at Wolves and scored another against Red Star Belgrade while a third against Crystal Palace was ruled out for offside. And he took more corners than any other City player with 170 in total.

Alvarez finished the season with an impressive 32 goal contributions across all competitions with 19 goals and 13 assists.

WATCH: 2023/24 season highlights: Julian Alvarez

And he became a trusted and reliable figure for Guardiola, with the forward appearing in 54 of our 59 matches, more than any other City player in the 2023/24 season.

He missed only two games in the Premier League, the first being on the final day of March, while he appeared in seven of the 10 Champions League clashes and every match in the domestic cups as well as the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Goals in the title run-in against Brighton, Wolves and Fulham in the final weeks of the season helped to ensure there were no late slip-ups as his spectacular collection of medals grew a little bigger.

2023/24 STATS (ALL COMPS)

Games played: 54

Games started: 39

Minutes played: 3,448

Games won: 36

Games drawn: 10

Games lost:  4

Goals: 19

Assists: 13

Alvarez view

"I'm in the best team in the world, in the best league in the world, and with the best players around me.

"That helps me to grow as a player and a person. I'm really happy here."

Pep on Alvarez

“Always we have problems, but I don’t forget [the contribution of] Julian. With Erling’s absence, Julian stepped up unbelievably.”