Sunderland: Alexander Aravena could replace Diallo
The Black Cats are reportedly interested in a deal to sign the attacking midfielder.
Sunderland kicked off their 2023/24 Championship campaign with a disappointing 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Ipswich Town over the weekend as a number of players made their debuts for the club.
Who have Sunderland signed this summer?
New signings Jobe Bellingham and Luis Hemir Semedo, who joined from Birmingham City and Benfica respectively, both lined up in the attack for Tony Mowbray’s side on Sunday.
Central defender Nectarios Triantis and goalkeeper Nathan Bishop were also unused substitutes after their permanent moves to the Stadium of Light during the summer transfer window.
Bradley Dack, Eliezer Mayenda, and Jenson Seelt have also been brought in to bolster the manager’s options across the pitch but they were all unavailable for selection.
There could be an eighth addition on the horizon as Sunderland are reportedly interested in signing CD Universidad Católica forward Alexander Aravena.
How good is Alexander Aravena?
Mowbray could finally replace Amad Diallo for the Black Cats by swooping for the 20-year-old ace, who can play out wide or through the middle, as his form in Chile suggests that he has the potential to be an exceptional signing.
Aravena has racked up 20 goals and six assists in 49 Primera Division matches for Universidad and CD Nublense combined since the start of the 2021/22 season. This means that the talented youngster has averaged a direct goal contribution once every 1.88 games in that time.
The 5 foot 8 wizard, whose intelligence was once described as “magnificent” by press officer Salvatore Gandhi, has proven himself to be an excellent scorer and creator of goals at first-team level over the last two years and could, therefore, be an excellent replacement for Diallo on Wearside.
It is a tough task to follow in the Ivory Coast international’s footsteps as he left big boots to fill after an impressive campaign on loan at the Stadium of Light from Premier League giants Manchester United.
He proved himself to be a reliable scorer from an attacking midfield or wide position with 14 goals in 39 Championship outings for the club, which was four more than any of his teammates managed throughout the season.
His average Sofascore rating of 6.98 was only bettered by Jack Clarke, Ellis Simms, and Ross Stewart and this shows that the 21-year-old ace was one of Mowbray’s best operators, which is why his return to Old Trafford has weakened the squad from an attacking perspective.
However, Diallo averaged a direct goal contribution once every 2.88 Championship games, with 14 goals and three assists, and this suggests that Aravena has the potential – if he can translate his form over to English football – to offer more quality at the top end of the pitch.
The Chile international’s average Sofascore rating of 7.06 across 19 Primera Division outings in 2023 would also have left him second – behind Stewart – and above Diallo last term within the Black Cats squad.
These statistics suggest that Aravena could be an outstanding performer for Sunderland if the exciting youngster can adapt to life in England, which is why Mowbray could finally replace the Red Devils loanee by swooping to sign the South American whiz before the deadline.