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Lucas Alario will fill Chicharito's void in Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday 3rd September 2017
Bayer Leverkusen tested the market the entire summer looking to find a replacement for Javier Hernandez. And even though it took them longer than expected, they found their man in Lucas Alario. The Argentinian striker does not have a big name reputation in Europe and many experts do not know him well. But he will fit perfectly in Leverkusen; and will make fans forget about Chicharito sooner than later.

Bayer Leverkusen are in a tough position in the Bundesliga. They are not the potent team from a few years ago. And aside from being one of the biggest disappointments last season, they also let their star striker leave during the summer when Javier Hernandez chose to join West Ham United in the English Premier League.

Things got complicated out of nowhere for Leverkusen, and they had to find a replacement quickly. They waited until the end of the transfer window, but eventually got their man in Lucas Alario. He might not be a household name among European experts. But being an unknown player is not going to be a disadvantage for the 24-year-old. He has nothing left to prove in Argentina and should fit in nicely within the German side.

Who Is Lucas Alario?

As mentioned earlier, Alario comes from River Plate, one of the biggest teams in Argentina and the CONMEBOL region as a whole. River did not want to part ways with him, but Leverkusen already paid the release clause so only details separate the deal to be completed. And in fact, Leverkusen said this Thursday that "the negotiations are not over", so there could be a slim chance of the deal collapsing. But that is extremely unlikely, and all signs indicate he will be able to debut for the German side over the next few weeks.

There is no question the fans are eager to see him play, but they'll need to temper their expectations. Filling Chicharito's void will be tough, and it remains to be seen how Alario adapts to the Bundesliga. But he has enough talent to adjust quickly. He already proved his worth in River, and Leverkusen will be the perfect step for his up-and-coming career.

Proven Goalscorer in South America

Alario is coming off an impressive year with River after scoring 13 goals in 33 matches across all competitions last season. He is not as quick as Hernandez and is not a poacher either, but has other traits that can make him a useful player. First of all, Alario is strong, possesses a great aerial game, and his positioning inside the box is excellent. He can play all over the attacking third as well, so he does not have to stay between the opposing centre backs all game long. And while he plays better as a central striker, he offers a decent amount of tactical versatility. With the way he moves in the final third, Alario can easily adapt to play alongside Julian Brandt, Karim Bellarabi and Admir Mehmedi, just to mention a few.

There will be an adjustment period, there is no question about that. But Alario has the potential to become an excellent signing for Leverkusen. And he is talented enough to make fans forget about Chicharito sooner than later.
Juan Pablo Aravena

29-year-old sports analyst and journalist with over three years of experience in the industry. Writes about all kinds of sports from football to golf, but there is no question his biggest passion in life is football. Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Colo Colo fan.

Total articles: 190

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