In 2011 it was widely reported that Arsenal had won the race to sign the highly rated Argentine Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Alvarez from Velez Sarsfield. Some reported the move as concluded, with the player set to arrive at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Even one of the clubs main rivals for his signature admitted this as fact. Palermo, then of Serie A were one of the front runners for his coveted signature, but their president Maurizio Zamparini had this to say in June 2011:
"We were interested in Alvarez, we were very close to him in January. We lost him due to our mistake and I know that he has already signed for Arsenal."
Done deal then, so why did we not see Alvarez tearing up the Premiership last season - oh that’s right, because he signed for Inter Milan on the 5th of July 2011 in a deal worth €13 million.
But Arsenal’s interest did not end there. The club continued to be linked with the playmaker over the course of the next two seasons - as he struggled to become a first-team regular with the Nerazzuri. Even this summer a select few linked them with a rekindling of interest when it came to the 25-year-old Albiceleste international.
But new Inter boss Walter Mazzarri obviously likes the player, as he has been given a more prominent role in the former Napoli coach’s Inter side this season - and his faith has been repaid.
Alvarez, according to statistical analysis website WhoScored.com, is currently the best player in Serie A after the opening three games.
And you can understand why by looking at his impressive stats.
From his trio of games Alvarez has one goal, one assist, two man of the match performances and a 91.9% pass success rate.
Those figures are rather outstanding, and his 3.7 key passes per game is certainly worth looking at as well.
It seems as if this season is ‘Ricky’s’ coming of age campaign, and if he can play like he has against Sassuolo tomorrow the newly promoted side will have no chance - and Arsenal will be left wondering ‘what if?’
image: © batrax