Name: Francisco ‘Paco’ Alcacer
Who is he?
Paco Alcacer isn’t a total unknown for fans of Premier League teams. The Valencia youngster, who joined his home town club in 2005 at the age of 12, was linked to teams like Arsenal and Liverpool a couple of years ago by which time he had barely figured for the senior team.
But the 19-year-old opted to stay put at cash-strapped Valencia, although he has only made three league appearances for Los Che. However he has starred for Valencia B, scoring over 40 goals in a little over 60 games since 2009.
Last season, he was loaned out to Madrid-based club Getafe from January to gain experience. In 21 games (he played a full 90 minutes on just one occasion and made six starts) he netted three La Liga goals. Overall it was a slightly underwhelming time.
With half a season of Spanish top flight action under his belt, Alcacer was called up to the Spain squad for the U20 World Cup.
A starter for most of the tournament, he netted one goal in a crucial 2 – 1 win over France in the group stages.
That adventure is over as Spain were sensationally knocked out by Uruguay in the quarter finals last Saturday but young Paco is set to graduate to the U21s who he has already represented.
The teenager has also represented his country at every level from U16 to U21, proving particularly prolific for the U17s who he gifted with 15 goals in 13 games.
Small, quick and technical, Alcacer is the typical Spanish player of the 21 Century. He has also proven to be a prolific, composed and lethal finisher at youth team and lower division level. Check out one of his goals for Getafe below where he showed composure belying his tender years and a deft finish to boot.
He is not only able to lead the line, but like the man he is often compared to, he has David Villa’s ability to drop deep and link up with the midfielders behind him.
Valencia’s tricky financial state makes the future of all players at the club quite interesting. Currently, Alcacer is behind Roberto Soladado, Nelson Valdez and Jonas in the pecking order in the striking department at the Mestalla. If one or two of the latter are sold, Alcacer could get a chance in the first team, otherwise another loan move is likely.
However, a permanent move for an enticing fee could be deemed acceptable by Valencia.