Celtic Opinion: Hoops should sign Edson Alvares to bolster their backline
According to claims from Mexican source Nacion Deportes, Scottish champions Celtic are set to battle it out with Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven and Ajax for Mexican international defender Edson Alvarez in the summer. Inter Milan are also believed to be in pursuit of the promising youngster.
The same report claims that Alvarez’s future at his current club America is up in the air, with the 21-year-old looking set for a move to Europe at the end of the season.
This is not the first time, however, that Celtic have been linked with Alvares, with the Record reporting back in December that the Hoops were keen to bring the Mexican to Parkhead during the January transfer window.
Along with Hirving Lozano, Edson Alvarez was one of the young players at the World Cup to watch out for. He started as a right-back in all of Mexico’s group stage matches against the Korea Republic, Germany and Sweden but the youngster wasn’t particularly impressive with his performances in Russia.
However, his inclusion in the first-team as a regular starter at the World Cup speaks volumes of his rapid development since making his Liga MX debut for America in 2016. In all, the youngster has made a total of 101 appearances for America across all competitions, scoring on 5 occasions.
Standing at 6ft.1 inch with a well-built frame, Alvarez is a versatile defender who can play at both centre-back and right-back, while his wonderful ball-playing qualities have prompted managers in the domestic league to deploy him in a defensive midfield role.
A tall- strong and powerful defender, Alvares is at his best when he plays at the heart of the defence, which allows him to use his physicality and aerial ability to good effect.
Strong in the air and quick across the ground, the 21-year-old is regarded as a technically-gifted player who also has a good understanding of the game.
He has shown a level of maturity that belies his tender years both in terms of composure and calmness in possession and decision-making abilities at crucial times.
It would be fair to say that he is ready to make the step up to Europe and carve out a more prominent name for himself in the years to come.
To put things into perspective, the acquisition of Alvarez would be a massive coup for Celtic. The Hoops are in dire need to bolstering their defensive unit in the summer, with Dedryck Boyata out of contract at the end of the season and Filip Benkovic expected to return to his parent club Leicester City.
Both Boyata and Benkovic have played a key role for the league leaders at the back and their departure would put the team in a precarious situation heading into the upcoming season.
Neil Lennon has Kristoffer Ajjer and Jozo Simunovic as options at the heart of the defence but someone like Alvarez would add to squad depth, whilst also increasing competition for places.
Also, right-backs Mikael Lustig and Cristian Gamboa are set to depart Parkhead at the end of the season and the Hoops are unlikely to make Jeremy
Hence, Alvarez, with his versatility to play at both right-back and centre-back, would definitely be a wonderful addition to Celtic’s squad.
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The move, if it materialises, could potentially turn out to be a double defensive fix for the Hoops, although they would need to fend off competition from some of the big names in Europe to get their hands on him.