Paco Alcacer has begun the 2019/20 season in unparalleled form for club and country. The Borussia Dortmund and Spain striker has scored 10 goals in just eight appearances across four different competitions for club and country, with only the UEFA Champions League yet to begin. Next in his sights are former club Barcelona...
Since moving to the Signal Iduna Park, he has netted 26 times in 38 games and is now set to show a visiting Barcelona in the Champions League why he is Europe’s most in-form striker and why they should regret letting him go.
Alcacer’s campaign opened with Supercup success, netting the first goal in Dortmund’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich to claim the season’s first piece of silverware and herald in what could be a monumental year for the Black-Yellows. He followed that a week later with another strike in the DFB Cup first round against KFC Uerdingen.
Watch: ALL of Alcacer's Bundesliga goals in 2018/19
It certainly signalled the start of a goal-filled season for the Spanish forward as he looks to challenge Robert Lewandowski for the Bundesliga’s Torjägerkanone, and potentially even the European Golden Shoe. The pair have already set off well ahead of the rest in what looks like being one of the league’s most exciting top-scorer races in years.
The BVB man has bagged six goals in the first four matchdays of 2019/20 against Augsburg (two goals), Cologne, Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen. It means he has struck seven times in his first six domestic outings for Borussia, at an average of a goal every 75 minutes.
Over the course of last season he scored 19 from 32 competitive games, averaging a goal every 86 minutes. That form in his first year in Germany saw him recalled to the Spain squad for October’s fixtures against Wales and England, ending a two-year international absence.
Despite scoring (surprise, surprise) two and one goal respectively in those games, Alcacer did not feature again under Luis Enrique. However, his early-season goal glut has not gone unnoticed by successor Robert Moreno, who called up the Dortmund man for September’s UEFA European Championship qualifiers against Romania and the Faroe Islands.
"At the end of the day, what you do for your club is what sees you called up for your country or not," Alcacer said to TVE. "The coach was clear when he said that he’d call up those who deserve it."
And in a scenario almost as likely as the sun rising in the east, Alcacer did his thing for La Roja and scored in both matches. His strike in Bucharest turned out to be the winner as Spain returned home 2-1 victors before, in a sight all too familiar to Bundesliga fans, he came off the bench in Gijon to score twice in the 4-0 win over the Faroese and put Spain in control of Group F.
It all means Alcacer has amassed 10 goals from eight games in four different competitions with two different teams. Five of those have come with his right foot, including a direct free-kick, four with his left and one with his head.
His total is the greatest by any player in Europe’s top five leagues in 2019/20, clear of the eight scored by Lewandowski, Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki, Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez, and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling
The Valencia native has since returned to Dortmund to strike again against Leverkusen and banish the demons of the surprise 3-1 loss at Union. But few would have forgiven Alcacer for having one eye on Borussia’s opening Champions League tie against Barcelona the following Tuesday.
Not only will he be aiming to stretch his goalscoring prowess into a fifth different competition this season, he has the added incentive of facing the club that deemed him surplus to requirements behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
With Barcelona now coming to town, Alcacer can not only show the Spanish champions why he is Europe’s most clinical striker but also why his departure has very much been their loss and Dortmund’s gain.