Sunderland manager Gus Poyet admits he will be surprised if Ricky Alvarez manages to break into double figures for goals this season.
The attacker, who joined on loan from Inter Milan this summer, caused great excitement on his arrival at the Stadium of Light, but he has failed to have the desired impact so far.
Alvarez is renowned as a skilful, creative influence, but he hasn't managed to bring too much more of a goalscoring threat to the Black Cats.
"He can score but I don’t think he will go over ten goals," Poyet admitted to the Chronicle. Hopefully he will surprise me.
“I think he is going to give us something extra. He could be the difference between winning and losing – or not winning.”
Alvarez has recently been out of the team due to injury, but he made his return this weekend, as he came off the substitutes' bench during the side's 0-0 draw with Liverpool.
It was his fifth appearance for the Wearsiders so far and he will be hoping that he did enough force his way back into starting contention for the club's next match.
Sunderland are currently safe of the bottom three, but they are far too close for comfort. At the moment, Poyet's men are only two points clear of the drop-zone meaning any increased attacking threat will be a major boost.
The North East outfit have scored just 13 goals in their first 15 Premier League matches this season and Alvarez is one of the players they will be relying on to change this poor record.