It has been almost two years since Julián Álvarez made his River Plate debut, and while the 20-year-old’s lack of a starting role to date might lead some to think that the forward doesn’t have much of a future, a freshly-signed new deal until 2022 would say otherwise.
More importantly, that contract saw Álvarez’s release clause increased to €25 million. Considering the departure of Nacho Scocco and the decline of veteran Lucas Pratto, now is the time for the man they call La Araña.
When River manager Marcelo Gallardo turned to the 18-year-old Álvarez to come off the bench in Madrid for the closing minutes of the historic Superclásico victory over Boca Juniors, this was not some moment of generosity to an academy boy barely in the first-team set-up, but in fact a show of great faith.
Those brief moments in such an important game may only have really served to highlight mental attributes, while patience has been required for the meagre 25 appearances to have followed since. But whether it’s been those small cameos or for Argentina’s under-20s, Álvarez’s class has shone through.
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