Ajax experienced a busy transfer period last summer. Many Ajax players left for a foreign football adventure, but a number of players were also brought to Amsterdam. Including Sánchez, who signed a four-year contract at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on 10 August 2022. From the beginning, the Mexican was well taken care of by his compatriot and friend Álvarez. "It's a sincere friendship, which everyone hopes for in their life," the right winger told reporters after his contract signing.
In Mexico, Sánchez answers to the nickname 'guerrero', which means 'warrior' in Dutch. "That's how I consider myself. I fight for every ball and never stop running," said the 24-year-old Mexican. On 28th August, the Mexican striker made his first appearance in action on a visit to FC Utrecht (0-2). He came onto the pitch in the 38th minute for Devyne Rensch, who left the field injured. In total, the Ajax acquisition has seen 652 minutes of action for the Amsterdam superpower this year, spread across seven Eredivisie matches and five UEFA Champions League games. In these minutes, Sánchez accounted for one goal and one assist.
Álvarez's season officially began on 30 July 2022 with the match for the Johan Cruijff Schaal against PSV. The Mexican controller had to miss the first league game due to a suspension for the 2021/2022 Eredivisie season, but subsequently played minutes in 12 of the 13 league games. 'El Machin' missed just seven minutes of official playing time in the Champions League, bringing him to a total of 1,520 playing minutes in all competitions this season. Álvarez scored at the Johan Cruijff ArenA against Rangers FC and provided two assists in the Eredivisie.
Mexican grinta in figures
That both Álvarez and Sánchez have the right perseverance and character can be seen on the pitch, but also in numbers. The former won the most duels in the Eredivisie of the entire Ajax squad (83), while Sánchez leads the list in percentage terms in winning defensive duels: 73%. Both Ajax players also rank one and two when it comes to most sliding tackles: 14 (Álvarez) to 11 (Sánchez).
Álvarez has excelled in several defensive areas this season in the Ajax squad. For example, he won the most defensive aerial duels, both in number (31) and percentage (71%). In addition, he had 157 defensive actions the first half of the season, one less than the top of the list Calvin Bassey. The 25-year-old Mexican is also second in terms of ball conquests in the Ajax squad this Eredivisie season, again Bassey remains ahead of him.
Ajax scored 44 league goals so far this season. The figures show that the controller had a large share in the Amsterdam build-up. The Mexican made 707 passes, of which 641 arrived at a teammate (90.7%).
His passing accuracy is very high. But Álvarez also excels at playing forward. Thus, the ball left the Mexican's foot about as often from his own half as in the opponent's half. 85.8% of forward balls were clean, only Jurriën Timber and Bassey had a better average. With his passing accuracy, the 25-year-old Álvarez had a share in 15 of the 44 Ajax goals, an average of 34.1%.
The World Cup adventure begins on Tuesday for Álvarez and Sánchez. At 17:00, the Mexican Ajax players play their first group match against Poland. In addition, Mexico's national team will be in action against Argentina and Saudi Arabia in the group stage. Buena suerte, chicos!