There are two fantastic athletes who go by the name of Carlos Alcaraz. One is the Spaniard tennis player who sadly missed out on the Australian Open this time, and the other is the Argentinian footballer now officially a Saint. Bottom of table Southampton desperately needs creativity in the middle of the park. Can Alcaraz be the answer? Can he give the Saints a couple of three-pointers along the way?
Alcaraz, known as ‘Charly’, was born in La Plata, the capital city of Argentina’s Buenos Aries province. He started playing with a football when he was just four and following the footsteps of his father, who was also a professional footballer.
However, his inspiration in life is his mother – who was the one pushing him to eventually become a footballer too. She wanted him to take the path of music, but it was the strings of the midfield that the young boy persued with the support of his mother.
The young Argentinian signed for ‘La Academia’ at native side Racing Club where the nickname ‘Charly’ was introduced. Racing is among the top five historic clubs in Argentina, a great platform for a young midfielder to embrace the knowledge of football.
Alcaraz began to impress significantly, making his professional debut at 17 in a 1-1 draw vs Atlético Tucumán in January 2020. That year he became the club’s youngest goalscorer in the 21st century. Eight senior appearances the following season truly saw him mark his place in the team.
Many say it was Fernando Gago’s arrival at the helm in 2021 that proved a pivotal moment for the club, boosting Alcaraz’s career. The manager was part of Real Madrid’s side from 2007-2012, and was winning titles with Boca Juniors as a central midfielder. He gave Alcaraz the insight into winning mentality,,and the creativity needed at the highest level.
The then 19-year-old became an important piece in an upturn in fortunes for Racing, receiving the spotlight and improving his worth in the 2022 campaign.
The youngster played 83 times for Racing, scoring 13 goals and providing six assists. He helped Racing to a second-place finish in the Primera División as well as providing that decisive moment in their dramatic cup victory.
Premier League club Southampton signed Argentine midfielder Carlos Alcaraz from Racing Club for 13.65 million euros ($14.68m). The 20-year-old penned a four-year-deal to become Racing Club’s second most expensive sale after the 25 million euros Inter Milan paid for Lautaro Martinez in 2018.
Alcaraz leaves his 2022 World Cup winning country with the perfect goodbye to Racing Club and fans by scoring the extra-time winner in the Trofeo de Campeones de la Liga Profesional – a national cup competition in Argentina – to run past Boca Juniors with a 2-1 win and lift the first piece of silverware in his young career.
Southampton is currently rock bottom of the Premier League and desperately looking for some sort of inspiration to escape the relegation zone.
The Saints do still have a chance to redeem themselves in the Carabao Cup semifinal second leg after Newcastle nicked the first 1-0. They have also advanced to the fifth round of the FA Cup after a 2-1 win over Blackpool, and Carlos Alcaraz was already on the bench.
So far, the youngster has displayed glimpses talent, playing approximately 120 minutes in two appearances in a Saints’ jersey and is priced at £5.0 in FPL. The worry is that better options at this price will get more minutes than the Southampton player.
Thriving as an energetic, box-to-box midfielder, with added bonus of pace and a desire to drive forward with the ball, Alcaraz is fine player that needs a bit of tuning at the moment to understand the Premier League’s intensity.
Still young, he is adjusting life in England both on and off the field right now. He needs game-time and someone up front to finish the key chances created, so ‘Charly’ is not yet an attractive fantasy selection.
Plus, Southampton’s run of form may not suit the youngster, but this journey and experience could make the player grow further in his career. He’s likely to eventually partner with Lavia, with JWP further forward. However, Alcaraz is more of an number ‘eight’ who likes to carry the ball vertically, dribbling, running, and finishing — he’s not so great at defending and positioning off-the-ball yet. He seems to be more likely a rotational player for now, but plenty of game-time later he can possibly become a starter.
What are your thoughts on Southampton’s signing? Will you take a risk to include him in your fantasy team? Do you think the Saints’ can escape the relegation zone? Please log in and leave your comments below!