Edson Alvarez came through the youth system of Club America in Mexico, making his debut for the Liga MX side in 2016. He went on to make 86 appearances for the club across all competitions. Alvarez moved to Ajax in 2019. After a slow start to his career at Ajax during the 2019-20 season, Alvarez slowly began seeing more game time in the 20-21 season and went on to make 24 appearances for the club.
This season the Mexican international has been a prominent part of Ten Hag’s lineup, and has made 11 appearances in the defensive midfield position, scoring two goals. In the Champions League, he has started in all four of his side’s group stage fixtures, as Ajax have already cemented their spot in the knockout round. Alvarez’s performances this season have led to him being handed a contract extension last month which will keep him at the club till 2025. In a press conference last month, Hag praised the midfielder’s development and stated that Alvarez offers a lot to the team positionally and looks after the defensive organization of the team. In addition, Hag stated that Alvarez’s improved performances have enhanced Ajax’s advancement of moves. In Hag’s 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 system, Alvarez is usually deployed as a defensive midfielder, but he has also displayed his versatility and is comfortable as a centre-back as well.
Ajax are currently at the top of the Eredivisie, level on points with rivals PSV, while they have been cruising through the Champions League group stage, with Alvarez making an impressive contribution for his side.
Let’s analyze the defensive midfielder’s stats to gauge his performances for Ajax.
Alvarez possesses brilliant ability and confidence on the ball and is adept at dribbling and passing. He often looks to break the opposition pressing lines and progress the ball forward. This season his passing and progression stats have been impressive. He is averaging upward of 63 passes per match, with an impressive passing accuracy of 93.53%. In addition, he is averaging north of six passes into the attacking third.
Alvarez’s pass received location indicates the areas of the pitch where he drops to receive his passes. In addition to his ball carrying skills, Alvarez also possesses excellent defensive ability, which allows him to close down on spaces in his defense. He is often able to receive the ball, dragging the opponent closer before bypassing him with a quick movement.
Alvarez’s heat map indicates his high work rate in multiple areas of the pitch. His speed and agility allow him to cover vast spaces on the pitch, plugging up gaps in the defense. This season he has been ever-present on the pitch, with high activity in his own half, near the centre, and in the opponent’s half.
The Mexican midfielder has made the highest number of recoveries in the opponent’s half for his side. His 17 recoveries in the opponent’s half are joint-sixth highest so far in the Champions League.
Alvarez has established himself in Hag’s line-up this season and has matured at an excellent speed. His versatility on the field allows him to play multiple roles on the pitch. Ajax fans can look forward to his brilliant performances in the upcoming matches.