What new VfB Stuttgart forward Nicolas Gonzalez lacks in height he more than makes up for in ability. - © © gettyimages / Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images
What new VfB Stuttgart forward Nicolas Gonzalez lacks in height he more than makes up for in ability. - © © gettyimages / Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images
Bundesliga

Nicolas Gonzalez: Five things on VfB Stuttgart's answer to Diego Maradona

VfB Stuttgart and Diego Maradona in the same sentence? Following Nicolas Gonzalez's summer transfer to the Mercedes-Benz Arena, it's something you might have to get used to.

bundesliga.com presents five things you might not know about Stuttgart's newest recruit, the latest talent off the Argentinos Juniors production line...

1) In Maradona's footsteps

Born and raised in Belen de Escobar, a Buenos Aires suburb, Gonzalez was soon playing for one of the Argentine capital city's biggest clubs. River Plate and CA Platense showed an interest, but the budding forward opted for Argentinos Juniors, the former home of Fernando Redondo, Juan Roman Riquelme and the legendary Diego Armando Maradona. Much like his decorated predecessors, Gonzalez scuttled through the youth ranks, earning the nickname 'El Bicho' (the bug) along the way.

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3) The next Kempes?

Gonzalez's self-deprecating assessment aside, his former Argentinos coach Alfredo Berti had few complaints. "He reminds me of Mario Kempes," he said, Kempes being the hero of Argentina's 1978 FIFA World Cup final win over the Netherlands. A natural goalscorer, capable of playing out wide or through the middle and boasting a beast of a left foot, the comparisons with 'El Toro' (the bull) are plain to see.

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5) Stuttgart's Argentinian arm

Gonzalez also gave a shout-out to his fellow Argentinian brothers in arms Emiliano Insua and Santiago Ascacibar, the latter having exploded onto the Bundesliga scene in 2017/18 after joining Stuttgart from Estudiantes de La Plata. Happily for Stuttgart, Gonzalez knows a thing or two about making an impact, scoring as he did four goals in his first six Primera Division outings last season. He might only be 5'9", but when did size get in the way of Argentines and world football stardom...?

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