“275 Games in 1247 Days: Why Man City Desperately Needs a Plan C Transfer Move!”

Julian Alvarez Propels Argentina into Copa America Semi-Finals Amid Exhausting Season

Julian Alvarez, Manchester City’s tireless striker, played a crucial role in advancing Argentina to the semi-finals of the Copa America, continuing his grueling season.

When Alvarez sent his penalty rocketing into the top corner in Houston, he revitalized Argentina’s Copa America aspirations after a nerve-wracking quarter-final against Ecuador. Introduced in the second half with Argentina leading, a late equalizer from Ecuador forced the game into penalties. Lionel Messi missed the first spot-kick for Argentina, but Ecuador also failed to convert. Alvarez then confidently stepped up to give Argentina the lead, which they maintained to win the shoot-out 4-2.

This victory secured Argentina a spot in the last four, where they will face either Canada or Venezuela. A final appearance would mark Alvarez’s 71st game of an extensive season, coming just a week before he heads back to Europe to represent Argentina in the Paris Olympics.

Manchester City would be thrilled if Alvarez adds another major trophy to his growing collection. However, an extra week of rest could be invaluable for a player who has scarcely had any downtime. Notably, the quarter-final took place at Houston’s NRG Stadium, the site of Alvarez’s debut for City in 2022.

In just under two years, Alvarez has played 134 games, having already logged 27 matches for River Plate and Argentina since February 2022 before joining City. With the Argentine Olympics squad set to compete shortly after the Copa America, Alvarez could play up to six more games in France over the next month. This leads into an 11-month season with City that could include up to 85 games.

From February 2022 to July 2025, Alvarez might play an astonishing 254 games, averaging 72 matches per year or one appearance every 4.9 days. Including the 21 games he was an unused substitute, he has prepared for 182 games in the past two and a half years, averaging one every 4.8 days. This stretch also includes 13 international trips to South America and two pre-season tours with City.

Alvarez has had minimal rest, potentially only ten weeks off in three and a half years. His involvement in the Olympics means he will likely miss the start of City’s season, placing added pressure on Erling Haaland to carry the attacking burden after a summer break and full pre-season.

While Alvarez’s regular play isn’t necessarily problematic, his relentless schedule could impact City’s strategy. If Alvarez is the ‘Plan B’ in attack, it might be prudent for City to consider a ‘Plan C’ due to his exhaustive commitments.

Finding a third-choice striker could be challenging, so City might revisit the False Nine tactic that was effective before Haaland’s arrival. Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva are potential fits for the central false nine role, but this might necessitate additional cover in attacking midfield. The expected signing of Savio could address this need.

With the new season approaching and no new signings yet, the urgency to bolster the squad across all positions remains evident.

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