By Football Wonderkids speaking to Alex Barker

18th Nov, 2022 | 4:08pm

Journalist would be 'very surprised' to see Manchester City ace Julian Alvarez start for Argentina

We’re delighted to welcome freelance journalist Alex Barker, also known asEuro Expert, who has worked for Breaking The Lines, GFFN and more, as our exclusive columnist. Each week he will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on Wonderkids across the UK…

Julian Alvarez may be in the Argentina World Cup squad but it would be very surprising to see him start despite his impact at Manchester City, says Alex Barker.

Alvarez moved to the Etihad Stadium from River Plate in the summer and has largely been overshadowed by Erling Haaland this season, despite scoring seven goals in all competitions.

That earned him a spot in the national team alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Paulo Dybala but Barker believes this is likely to be a tournament that sees him get experience rather that be relied upon for his talents.

“I don’t think he’d be there necessarily to make up numbers, but it would be very surprising to see him start,” he told The Football Wonderkids.

“Alvarez is not quite as good a dribbler as the likes of Messi, Lautaro Martinez, Paulo Dybala, and not quite as good a finisher either but he’s a very talented player.

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“In Argentina, obviously in the summer he moved from River Plate to Manchester City, and he was playing under Marcelo Gallardo, and in Argentina he’s been hyped up as one of their biggest talents in a very, very long time.

“So there is a lot of faith in him, but maybe this is a case where he’s going for tournament experience so that when Messi retires, Di Maria drops out of the squad, when Dybala continues to age and continues with his fitness issues, this is likely to be part of the transition to get Alvarez into the team for the next World Cup.”

Argentina are among the favourites to win the competition and will kick off their group stage against Saudi Arabia (22 November), before clashes with Mexico (26 November) and Poland (30 November).

In other Manchester City news, the club could make a £70m+ move for Bukayo Saka says one scouting expert