The past few weeks have not been easy for Lucas Alario. The Argentina international had been in sporting limbo, waiting for FIFA to confirm his transfer from River Plate to Bayer Leverkusen, but has immediately shown the Bundesliga what he’s about on his debut in the 3-0 win over Hamburg.
Leverkusen fixtures have been anything but dull this season, with a whopping 22 goals being scored in their opening six Bundesliga games. Now they have the Latino flair back that they lost with Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s departure, and their new man is a sharp-shooter by name and nature.
Known in his homeland as “El Pipa” (the rifle), Alario has immediately fired his way into the hearts of Werkself fans. Not only did the Argentine score on his debut for the club, he netted with his first shot on goal, showing no signs of a lack of match practice.
Watch: Alario loving life in Leverkusen
It was a strike that drew high praise from his new boss Heiko Herrlich, who said after the game, “That was not an easy ball to take. It shows straight away how good he is and what an addition he is to our team.”
The striker himself was just as pleased with his debut following weeks of uncertainty over whether he’d be allowed to play for the club: “I’m thrilled to have won my first game. It was a really important victory for the team after a difficult time for me. I’ve been training every day but wasn’t allowed to play.”
Alario is only just beginning to learn German and English to help him communicate with his new teammates, but he has so far let his football do the talking with his Leverkusen colleagues, who appear to be impressed with the new arrival.
Watch: Alario would rather score than assist!
“He’s a team player, fights for everything and has a really good technique,” said his strike partner Kevin Volland. “He’s a really nice guy off the pitch. It’s not easy to talk to him because of the language barrier, but an interpreter has made sure he feels at home in this team.”
A language barrier means nothing when players can understand each other using the language of football. Alario, Volland and Leon Bailey took to the pitch together for the first time against Hamburg, and the trio already appear to have a great connection out there despite their differing origins.
Jamaican Bailey provided an assist apiece for the Argentinian Alario and the German Volland in a scintillating performance on the left wing. Alario then set up Volland for the third as the attacking trio tore apart the HSV defence.
“My strike partners Bailey and Volland are really good players. You could see how well we understand each other out there on the pitch,” Alario added.
Could this be the makings of a new famous attacking trio in world football? We’ve already seen MSN and BBC in Spain, could VAB now be a thing? German pronunciation would make that sound like "FAB", which could be quite fitting...