When Julián Álvarez produced his first impression of Sergio Agüero to break Pablo Zabaleta’s heart – Dominic Farrell

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If the goal-of-the-match celebration hadn’t excited you enough about Julián Álvarez, let us draw another tantalizing Sergio Agüero parallel.

Sergio, as we well know, loved the hat-trick. He fired 12 of them in the Premier League alone to set a new record in England’s top flight, with each of the balls taking pride of place in his living room.

Alvarez, believed to be closing in on a £17.9m move to Manchester City, enjoyed a spectacular season with Argentine giants River Plate last season, scoring 20 goals in 35 appearances en route to the glory of the First Division.

Within that loot were the first two hat-tricks of the 21-year-old’s fledgling career.

He stole four in a 5-0 win over Patronato in November, his second hat-trick of the season after a standout performance against a club with a treasured link to City.

Pablo Zabaleta joined the San Lorenzo academy when he was 12 years old and living in club-owned accommodation in Buenos Aires.

A feisty midfielder in his early days, Zabaleta progressed through the ranks to make his career breakthrough before Europe called for him, with a move to Espanyol in 2005 preceding nine glorious years in East Manchester.

San Lorenzo held a place in Zaba’s heart as he celebrated their 2014 Copa Libertadores triumph. If Álvarez completes his transfer to City, he has a bit of a reward to make him a great club after his exploits on October 18 last year.

Champion-elect River hosted San Lorenzo at El Monumental and Nicolás Ezequiel Fernández charged into the bottom corner to put the visitors in front midway through the first half.

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Enter Alvarez.

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Álvarez allowed Santiago Simón’s pass to get in his way before hitting an unstoppable low blow from 22 yards. It was a blow his hero Aguero would have been proud to call his own.

The game remained even until the last half hour, when Julián was on hand to show off his poaching instincts, coolly pushing an unprotected net after San Lorenzo goalkeeper Sebastián Torrico made a save with his legs.

San Lorenzo valiantly pushed for an equalizer, but that left them exposed at half-time and Álvarez caught their high defensive line six minutes from time.

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The young striker still had a lot to do when he ran into Robert Rojas’s pass down the right. Torrico coming out of his area gave Álvarez a chance to make up his mind and connected with an icy shot from a tight angle to complete his hat-trick.

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He sealed a very complete hat-trick, made up of three very different goals. Aguero, Zabaleta and anyone else affiliated with City would love to see something similar in a sky blue jersey at some point in the near future.

To be honest, it’s the least you can do, isn’t it Pablo?

Are you excited about the prospect of Julián Álvarez joining Manchester City’s Argentine history? Follow the editor of City Is Ours Dom Farrell on Twitter to join in the discussion and give us your feedback in the comments section below.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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