22 Striker Valencia Spain
One of Spain’s great striking hopes for the future and unlike parts of their first team, that’s a position that’s very much up for grabs. We’re going to be honest and say if you’re thinking of names like Torres or Villa that’s way off the mark at the moment, Paco Alcácer has a long way to go and an awful lot to learn to get anywhere near their level, but he’s got a chance to improve and compete even if we remain slightly sceptical.
2015 has been…
…okay, good but not great all in, which is a phrase that covers a lot of things in this report in truth.
We can’t be in love with everyone on this list and in the interest of balance we’ll be on honest and say we’re on the fence with Alcácer. The talent is there, he deserves his place in the Valencia starting eleven, he deserves his run in the national side, and perhaps we’re being way too harsh, but it all seems quite workmanlike and by-the-numbers. We know life can’t all be nights out with Ollie Reed and Alex Higgins, but sometimes we need to see… well, a bit more. There’s a good striker here, but not a great one, can that come in time? If we’re completely honest we’re not sure.
For every night like the qualifier against Macedonia back in 2014 that earned him this place on the 100, there’s five or six more where he can look really average. He needs a bit more cutting edge, a bit more instinct, a bit more confidence and it all needs to feel a bit more natural. It may all be in there, who knows maybe even this summer’s Euros could give him the belief, but he needs to take it up a gear. Being a top line striker at a La Liga club and earning caps for Spain is not to be downplayed, but we hope there’s more to come or he may have already shown everything already.
This comes over as a harsh review so we should make it clear we are in no way saying this is a bad player, far from it in truth. It’s more that we think he may be at his best already. So often we talk about potential, what could/might happen, this feels more like a player who considers himself fully formed as is. We really want him to smash this opinion apart, we’d love this to be the egg-on-the-face future RT’d profile from this year’s list, and here’s hoping it is, but honestly? We think he’s at the highest level he’s going to play at in his career right now so he either needs to embrace it more, or find another hidden gear somewhere.
We want to end on a positive so we’ll say this, here’s a good, functional striker scoring goals and playing first team football for both club and country - that should be noted and respected accordingly. Our expectations are too high perhaps, we’re in the wrong, here’s hoping anyway.
C We love being wrong on these things but is this all there is?
If you've enjoyed reading the #IBWM100 please make a donation to help us keep the site ad free.