By Gabriel Agbonlahor

16th Jul, 2021 | 8:45pm

Agbonlahor: Aston Villa backed in Alvarez pursuit after reported update

Gabby Agbonlahor has claimed Julian Alvarez would be a smart addition to the Aston Villa squad.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer insisted Dean Smith should add a young and hungry player to his experienced squad.

Italian outlet Calciomercato reported on 14 July Villa are preparing a £13million bid for the River Plate youngster.

It is claimed they will face competition from AC Milan for the 21-year-old versatile attacker.

Alvarez has scored 16 times and provided 17 assists in 70 games across all competitions for River Plate.

His form earned him his first call up to the Argentina national team earlier this year.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

He was even included in their Copa America squad and featured in their final group game before Argentina lifted the trophy.

Spanish outlet Don Balon reported on 23 June Lionel Messi has been so impressed by Alvarez he has recommended him to Barcelona.

Asked whether he could cope with the step up to Villa and the Premier League, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “Yes, I think so.

“We’ve got some good experienced players so somebody young who is hungry to succeed wouldn’t be a bad thing.

“It sounds like a good idea, definitely.”

Villa have already signed Alvarez’s compatriot Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City for a club-record fee this transfer window.

His fellow Copa America winner Emiliano Martinez is also a key part of Dean Smith’s squad and did not miss a Premier League game last term.

In other news, Aston Villa have been tipped to beat two clubs to the signing of a Premier League star after he quits a London club.