Julián Álvarez is only 24 years old but already a highly decorated footballer. The Argentinian forward has 15 trophies for club and country, including the coveted UEFA Champions League and the FIFA World Cup. On May 19, Álvarez could become a two-time English Premier League champion and write his name into football’s record books by helping Manchester City win their fourth consecutive domestic league title.

No team has won four English top-flight titles in a row since the inaugural Division One season in 1888/89. Huddersfield Town won three in a row in the 1920s, Arsenal managed the same feat in the 1930s, and Liverpool won three consecutive titles in the early 1980s. Manchester United have twice won three straight Premier League titles, doing so in the late 1990s and again in the mid-2000s. Manchester City now has a realistic chance of winning an unprecedented four in a row, and Álvarez is one of the reasons this historic event is possible.

Manchester City won the Premier League title in 2020/21, 2021/22, and again in 2022/23. They also completed a historic treble by winning the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies. City only has two Premier League fixtures remaining in the 2023/24 season, and every online sports betting app has them as the clear favorite to come out on top and write their name into English football’s history books. City trails Arsenal by one point, although they have played one game less than the current league leaders. They play Tottenham Hotspur on May 14 before facing West Ham United in the season’s final game.

Álvarez is a Major Contributor to the Manchester City Success Story

Álvarez has become a key player for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side despite initially being bought to play second fiddle to a host of other footballing superstars. Alverez started his professional career as a 16-year-old with Argentinian giants River Plate in 2016. He mostly played for River Plate’s youth team before breaking into the first team during the 2018/19 season.

It was not until 2021 that Álvarez became a regular first-team player, scoring 24 goals in 46 appearances. His athletic ability, eye for goal, and intricate passing prompted Manchester City to pay £14 million for his signature, although part of the deal was for City to loan him straight back to River Plate. During his final season in Argentina, Álvarez played 26 games and scored 18 goals.

Álvarez was mainly used as a substitute during his debut season with Manchester City in 2022/23, playing for 1,452 minutes across 31 appearances. He scored nine Premier League goals and provided one assist as Manchester City became champions of England for the third consecutive year. During the same season, Álvarez won the UEFA Champions League despite being an unused substitute, won the FIFA World Cup and the Copa Libertadores with Argentina, and became the first-ever player in football history to win the World Cup and a continental treble in the same season.

Adapting to a New Role in the City Team

Since joining Manchester City, Álvarez has been chiefly a backup to Norwegian goal machine Erling Haaland. Haaland has 88 goals and 15 assists in 95 appearances in the blue shirt of Manchester City, so Álvarez was never going to oust him from the team and claim the center-forward position for himself. Some players would sulk if they knew they were second choice and had no realistic way of breaking into the first team, but Álvarez is not one of those young men. Instead, Álvarez has spent the current season reinventing himself as an all-round player.

At the time of writing, Alverez has played 2,658 minutes of Premier League football this season over 35 games. He has scored 11 goals, provided nine assists, and has been instrumental in City’s latest title charge. Álvarez stepped in for the injured Haaland in December and did a stellar job leading the line. However, it is Álvarez’s adaptability that has earned him plaudits from the football media, the Manchester City fans, and coach Pep Guardiola.

Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is the player that makes Manchester City tick. Since arriving at the club, De Bruyne has scored 102 goals and provided 169 assists in 379 Premier League appearances, mainly from an attacking midfield role. However, injuries have plagued the Belgian this season, and he has missed 35 games in all competitions, including 32 games between August 12 and December 29. Despite De Bruyne being resigned to the sidelines, City has not missed him because Álvarez stepped up to the plate and filled the void left by De Bruyne’s absence.

Álvarez’s intelligent running, passing, and possession led him to thrive in the number ten position—so much so that he may permanently switch to that role, at least when he turns out for City. Álvarez is more used to playing in a two-striker system, but his intelligence and willingness to go the extra yard for his team and teammates have seen him take to his new position with ease, and he is now one of the first names down on the City team sheet.

What Does Álvarez Need to Become an English Football Record Breaker?

Manchester City occupies second place in the Premier League table after Arsenal defeated Manchester United 1-0 on May 12. City has 85 points from 36 games, with Arsenal on 86 points from 37 games. City plays Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur on May 14. Regardless of the result at Tottenham, the title will be decided during the season’s final weekend.

If Manchester City beats Tottenham and then defeats West Ham United on the season’s final day, they will win the title and become the first team in English football history to capture four league titles in a row. They could also win the league if they accumulate four points from their two remaining games, even if Arsenal wins their last fixture against Everton. However, City would need to improve their goal difference by three goals, as they currently have a 58 to 61 inferior goal difference.

The most likely outcome is for Manchester City to win both of their remaining games and win the league by two points. If that is to happen, Álvarez will have to be at his brilliant best and become only the fifth Argentinian to win two or more Premier League titles.