Southgate Backs Alves

Middlesbrough flop Alfonso Alves has received public support from his manager Gareth Southgate.

The Brazilian international Alfonso Alves, a record £12.5 million buy from Dutch side Heerenveen, has made 8 appearances for Middlesbrough since his transfer, but has yet to find the back of the net.

Some Boro fans have questioned his ability to live up to the price tag, with the Brazilian lacking strength and sharpness in the games in which he has featured.

Middlesbrough were unfortunate not to get something out of their tie with Chelsea on Saturday, a game in which they lost by a single goal. What was more frustrating was that Alves hit the woodwork twice in the game.

Gareth Southgate told the club’s official website:

George Gillett “That’s the sharpest we’ve seen him in a match, we’ve seen that in training, he needs that match sharpness now and he’ll only get that by playing.

The chance when he hit the post, he did brilliantly to make it for himself and get round the ‘keeper and he did pretty much everything right.

The header that hit the bar, he did well to get over it as much as he did.

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