A persistent string of bad luck continues to follow Lucas Alario.
|Lucas Alario.||Photo: GEPA Pictures/Sven Sonntag|
Bayer Leverkusen striker Lucas Alario (28) left the training pitch early on Tuesday with yet another injury scare. Werkself coach Gerardo Seoane later confirmed that it was indeed the doctor who had asked him to come off.
Alario has found the worst possible luck with injuries in the past year. Around this time last year, he was an important piece of the puzzle at Bayer, with Kevin Volland leaving the club to join AS Monaco. Primarily an understudy to the German, Alario finally had the chance to prove his worth and cement his position as the main man up top for coach Peter Bosz despite the heavy investment made into signing Patrik Schick. The Czech caught an injury on matchday 3, giving Alario a golden opportunity to lead the line for a while. One that he clutched with both hands, only to see it slip out due to bad fortune.
Between September and November, "Goalario" was in red hot form, scoring 10 goals across all competitions, including an impeccable league run with 7 goals in 4 games between Matchday 4 and Matchday 7. Many began to question if even Schick could keep up with the free scoring Argentine, who was showing that all he had lacked was a string of games to show his fine finishing qualities.
However, a knee injury stopped the "Goalario" train in its tracks, and a few weeks later Alario returned to see his name on the bench, with Bosz preferring to start with his new signing Schick. The winter break came around as Bayer ended their unbeaten start to the season with an unfortunate loss to the champions, and from here on Alario never really got a proper chance, with most of his appearances off the bench in a desperate attempt to salvage games that Bosz's side did not impress at all in.
It is easy to credit Alario's success to the team's consistency at the start of the season, but the other side of the coin represents an overlooked question - Was Alario's form a major reason for the dream run Leverkusen started the season with?
Despite the bumpy ride that Leverkusen's 2020/21 season was, Alario played some of his best football, and a spot on the flight to the Copa America with Argentina was surely in the bag. Unfortunately, a serious Hamstring injury picked up on Matchday 32 meant that the Copa America dreams for Leverkusen's number 13 were over. He was later named as one of the three players over the age of 23 for Batista's Olympic games contingent, only to hit yet another wall in the form of an adductor injury.
Alario returned to Leverkusen and had just signed a contract extension up to 2024. Seemingly it was the right call as new head coach Seoane set his side up as 4-4-2 with Schick and Alario both featuring in a recent friendly versus Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. This setup represents a good opportunity for Alario to get the game time he needs, and quite frankly, deserves. This untimely injury comes just before the DFB Pokal opener against Lokomotiv Leipzig.
Fate really has been toying with the Argentine, and all Leverkusen fans can do is hope this latest setback does not keep him out for long. More information on the injury is expected after proper diagnostics.