Julian Alvarez, on loan from Manchester City, scored six goals for River Plate on Wednesday.
River Plate defeated Alianza Lima 8-1, with Alvarez demonstrating why he was one of the world’s most sought-after teenage strikers.
The Argentine was set to join the Premier League champions earlier this year, but City decided it would be best for his development to send him back to River Plate.
It appears to have been a wise option, as the forward has performed admirably for the club he joined in 2016. The Libertadores, on the other hand, are the biggest in South America, and Alvarez’s performance quickly cements him in River Plate folklore.
City signed the 22-year-old attacker in January for £14.1 million from River Plate in Argentina.
Alvarez, who has seven Argentina caps, has agreed to a five-and-a-half-year contract with the Premier League champions.
The talented forward scored his first goal of the game in the 15th minute and had his first hat-trick before halftime.
After the intermission, he repeated the feat, scoring three more goals in the 54th, 57th, and 83rd minutes as River cruised to an 8-1 triumph.
(Watch all of the six goals scored by Alvarez here!)
Needless to say, City view Alvarez as a footballer with extremely high potential.
The club’s director of football Txiki Begiristain said after Alvarez’s signing was confirmed earlier this year: “I really believe we can provide him with the right conditions to fulfil his potential and become a top player.”
Guardiola, meanwhile, sees Alvarez playing through the middle in his City team.
“Up front, in the middle,” the revered Catalan coach said, per City’s official website, when asked in February where Alvarez may fit into his team.
“I see a player more in positions between the pockets and the striker. A guy with this sense of goal has to play close to the goal.
“For the age, for the price, for many reasons for the future it is a really good deal. He is a guy who has a sense of goal, the quality, the movement in behind – a street player.
“He is so dynamic. I think when he is playing the goal is there in his mind with the way he finishes and makes the movements over five metres.
“He has the desire, the passion and the strength without the ball.”