Julian Alvarez had to be withdrawn from Manchester City’s starting XI in the UEFA Super Cup at the last minute because of injury.

That’s according to journalist Vicente Muglia, who has reported that the 23-year-old was meant to start the match against Sevilla on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola’s squad has been blitzed by injuries in the opening week of the season, with Kevin de Bruyne, John Stones, Ruben Dias and Bernardo Silva all unable to feature as City squeezed past the Spanish side on penalties.

Alvarez suffered discomfort

Now, Alvarez has joined them on the treatment table.

As reported by Vicente Muglia, Alvarez’s withdrawal from the starting line-up was due to ‘muscular discomfort’.

Manchester City FC v Sevilla FC - UEFA Super Cup 2023
Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

City’s medical team reportedly advised Guardiola that Alvarez should only play 10 to 15 minutes of the showpiece fixture, so as not to risk further injury.

On the basis of that advice, Guardiola was reluctant to introduce Alvarez at all.

With injury and illness ruling out De Bruyne and Bernardo respectively, Pep did not want to risk losing another attacking midfield option ahead of City’s Premier League home opener against Newcastle on Saturday.

According to Muglia, Guardiola altered his game plan so that he didn’t have to call upon Alvarez at all. However, the fatigue of Cole Palmer necessitated the introduction of Alvarez in the 89th minute.

The Argentine attacker went on to score City’s second spot kick of the penalty shootout.

Muglia has also reported that Guardiola plans to give Alvarez more minutes this season.

Alvarez made 49 appearances during City’s treble-winning campaign, scoring 17 goals and providing five assists.

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