Paco Alcacer is a relatively unknown figure to football fans, at the age of 19 he is yet to have seriously made a name for himself, despite impressing during several international tournaments for Spain. From watching him, it is clear to see that the player has talent and potential; which hopefully he will be able to fulfil in the near future.
Alcacer is a product of the Valencia youth system, having come through the ranks at the Mestalla and hoping to eventually seek his opportunity to be chosen upfront. After impressing for several youth teams at Valencia, Alcacer was moved up to the Reserve side for the 2009-10 season, at the age of 16. During that season, Alcacer made 15 appearances, scoring three goals as the side were relegated from the third division of Spanish Football. His impressive form for the reserve side warranted a call-up to the Spain u-16 side and Alcacer went on to make 3 appearances for the U-16’s. More opportunities on the international stage followed as Alcacer progressed to the U-17’s set up at Spain, where he made 13 appearances, scoring a staggering 15 goals; a record which any striker would be proud of. In that season, Alcacer was also handed his debut with the first team, in a Spanish Cup fixture against UD Logrones. Alcacer lasted the full 90 minutes as Valencia cruised through the next round of the competition, winning 7-1 on aggregate.
In the pre-season of 2011/12 season Alcacer joined up with the first-team as they prepared for the season ahead. He scored his first goal for the club in a 3-0 friendly win over Roma, a great moment for him at the start of his career. But then tragedy struck on the same night as Alcacer’s father suffered a heart attack when leaving the Mestalla. Unfortunately medics were unable to save him and his father subsequently died. Alcacer’s commitment to the club could not be questioned though as after not even a week after his father’s death, he returned to training. With 3 other top quality strikers at the club, it was difficult for Alcacer to force his way into the side and retain a place in the starting eleven. Boss Unai Emery usually set his team up with a single striker and hitman Roberto Soldado was the preferred choice. And when Emery rarely opted to play with two strikers, Alcacer was the furthest down the pecking order as Brazilian Jonas and Spaniard Aduriz were called-up on when selected. It seemed like Alcacer was a last resort. Opportunities were limited throughout the season; the only first team action he received was 20 minutes in January, when he earnt his first La Liga appearance away at Real Sociedad, where Valencia lost 1-0.
Alcacer was to be moved up to the Spain U-18 squad for a short while, making two appearances and scoring the same amount of goals. But it was to be in the U-19’s side where Alacer hit his best form. Everyone realises that Spain boast some of the most exciting prospects in world football and Alcacer featured heavily in this flawless side alongside talents such as Suso, Denis Suarez, Jese Rodriguez, Juanmi Jimenez and more. He was an influential part of the team that won the European U-19 Championships in Estonia, where he scored twice; the pick of the goals being his goal against Estonia in a 2-1 win for La Roja. Alacer collected the ball just outside the box, swivelled around and unleashed a sensational shot that crashed off the crossbar an into the goal, an example of what Alcacer is capable of. In Spain’s Semi-final match against France, Alcacer was quite incredible. He was introduced in the 55th minute and changed the game. He scored a penalty in the 78th minute and also contributed to the team with 2 assists. This tournament was the ideal way for Alcacer to showcase the talent he possesses and his goal-scoring record for Spain U-19’s stands at 16 appearances and 9 goals.
After impressing in the tournament for Spain, many believed he was to be break his way into the side at Valencia, but he was unable to and was sent on loan to Getafe, where at the time of writing this, he has made 4 appearances for the La Liga outfit. The loan at Getafe could prove to be a spell that kick-starts his career at Valencia and one that may benefit him massively. He is a player that appears to have a future in the game. Alcacer is equipped with an excellent touch is blessed with pace, tenacity, strength, superb technical ability and phenomenal finishing; everything you look for in a striker. He is expected to move up the U-21 squad when he develops a little more and you can’t rule out him becoming a Spain regular. It is yet to be discovered whether he will be given the chance to play up front with Soldado at Valencia, but what we do know is that Paco Alcacer is definitely one for the future.
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