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Should youngsters stay in Mexico or make a move to Europe?

With the recent announcement of Kevin Alvarez’s transfer to Club América, the age-old question of where they should develop arises once again.

Soccer: MexTour-Cameroon at Mexico Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Club América recently announced the signing of Kevin Alvarez from Pachuca. It had already been rumored the youngster would sign with the Mexico City club and the official announcement effectively put the rumors to rest. The right-back is only 24 years old and his signing has brought upon some questions not just of him, but of other youngsters all across the league as well. Should players go to Europe to help their development or do they take the money and stay in Mexico?

The arrival of Alvarez at Club América is one that’s reported to be for four years worth 4.5 million dollars. If that’s the case, it makes sense why the youngster would agree to the deal considering the financial aspect. For a young player, that is a big chunk of money they can’t say no to, considering clubs in Europe usually don’t offer that type of money to youngsters while Liga MX does. This is one of the reasons why players choose to stay in Mexico; they know they can make good money immediately that European clubs just won’t offer them.

If players choose to head to Europe, there’s no guarantee they’ll succeed. Some players have trouble adjusting to a new style of play while others don’t. When Santiago Giménez left for Feyenoord, he immediately adjusted and made an impact to the point he made history. Then there’s Jorge Sanchez who left for AFC Ajax and at first it went well, but eventually the struggles began. Teammate Edson Alvarez struggled also in his first year, but in his second, he excelled. However, that doesn’t stop fans from talking when things don’t go right for the players who go abroad. Alexis Vega is very aware of that and it’s one of the reasons he said he will not head to Europe for the time being. He didn’t want to head abroad and possibily not succeed, having to deal with the harsh critics. And he isn’t totally wrong about fans and media if he did not immediately adjust abroad.

However, Vega’s perspective is different from that of Julian Araujo. Araujo may not have played in Mexico, but he did play for the LA Galaxy where he got an offer to play for Barcelona B. He could’ve continued to play in the US or even head back to Mexico, but instead chose Europe even though he wasn’t guaranteed a spot in the senior team. He has already impressed Xavi enough to play a preseason friendly and hopefully that’s the start to his career in Barcelona. Araujo doesn’t mind challenging himself and seeing as he’s potentially a future vital piece for the National Team, it’s great to see players willing to challenge themselves abroad.

A positive for Alvarez is that he still has plans to go to Europe. He wants to use the move to Club América as a spring board to Europe.

His statement makes sense as to why he might have chosen to switch clubs since América are a highly visible club. Past players like Raul Jimenez, Diego Lainez, and Edson Alvarez to name a few, have made the jump to Europe after playing for América. Hopefully this is the case for Alvarez and he can make that jump just like former Águilas did.