It was considered quite a coup for Gus Poyet to secure Alvarez’s signature from Italian club Internazionale, but the Argentine international has yet to impose himself at the Stadium of Light, with a two-month injury keeping him out of action. He returned to training a fortnight ago, and, after sitting out of the Black Cats’ 0-0 draw with Leicester last weekend, the forward is set to return to competitive action this Saturday - as undefeated league leaders Chelsea travel to the Stadium of Light.
Alvarez’s return will create a welcome selection headache for Poyet, who has had to struggle with a number of injuries to key first-team stars in recent weeks. The Black Cats have avoided defeat in their last three games, but they have struggled for creativity in the final third, and Poyet praises the ‘qualities’ that Alvarez will bring to his side, as they search to become the first team to defeat Chelsea this season.
Speaking to the Chronicle, Poyet admitted that the former Velez Sarsfield star will become a key player in the final third, as he can do things with the ball no one else can.
“Ricky has different qualities, and to have him back makes all the difference,” the Uruguayan coach said.
“He’s a pleasure to watch in training. He has been doing things this week and last in training that make you think he can be a really key player for us in the last third.
“That’s the most difficult part of football. You can plan things, but the opposition defends and at the end of the day it is the player on the pitch with the ball who needs to do the right thing.
“Ricky has the ability with the ball to do things that other players can’t and if we put him in those situations, he can make the difference and give us extra quality.
“I think he is that type of player. Now, we need to use him well.”
Alvarez will be likely start on the substitutes bench on Saturday, with Poyet unwilling to rush the potential star back into Premier League action.