Would Daniel Alves Be a Success at Manchester City?

“Brazil World Cup players at Gillette eve” by Ben Tavener

Daniel Alves may be in his mid-30s, but he is one of the best right-backs in the world – perhaps even the best. The Brazil international is a Barcelona legend, and last season he showed that he can do it in Italy as well.

Signed on a free transfer in the summer of 2016 by Juventus, Alves maintained his form and showed that he is tactically adept enough to succeed in Serie A, one of the most difficult domestic leagues in the world. The right-back played in 19 Serie A games for Juventus last season, scoring two goals and providing two assists in the process.

It was in the Champions League that the former Sevilla star starred for Massimiliano Allegri’s side. Alves was a key figure in the Bianconeri’s progress to the final in Europe’s premier club competition. The 34-year-old made 11 starts in the Champions League during the 2016-17 campaign, scoring three goals and providing four assists in the process.

It must have come as a surprise to many Juventus fans when Alves decided to leave Turin this summer with one more year left on his contract. Manchester City have been heavily linked with a move for Alves, and it is only a matter of time before the former Bahia defender completes the switch to the Premier League club, who are 15/8 to win the league title next season, according to latest football betting odds on bet365.

Alves may be getting old, but the Brazilian still has his legs and pace. The right-back remains supremely energetic, and although he may not be able to play well consistently in 50 games per season, if he is managed properly, then he could be a huge asset for City. Pep Guardiola is also reportedly interested in signing Kyle Walker from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer transfer window. Playing in tandem with the England international right-back next season would be the perfect way to manage Alves.

Not so long ago, City signed another Brazilian right-back from another Italian club. Man City paid Inter Milan a transfer fee of £3 million in the summer of 2012 in order to secure the services of Maicon. Much was expected of the then 31-year-old Brazilian defender, but he failed to make an impact at the Etihad Stadium and was moved on after just a season.

While some fans could be concerned and may draw parallels, the truth is that Maicon was past his best when he joined City. In fact, the former Brazil international right-back was on the way down following his tremendous performances in Inter’s Champions League-winning campaign of 2019-10. On the other hand, Alves is very much on top of his game and can make important contributions over the course of the season if he is managed properly by Guardiola, who has worked with him before at Barcelona.

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