Chris Young column - Alvarez can added needed sparkle

Tottenham Hotspur's Vlad Chiriches (right) and Sunderland's Ricky Alvarez battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Sunderland. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Tottenham Hotspur's Vlad Chiriches (right) and Sunderland's Ricky Alvarez battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 13, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Sunderland. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
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SINCE selling Stephane Sessegnon, Sunderland have lacked a maverick – that player who often frustrates, yet conjures up a moment of magic.

Ricky Alvarez’s 25-minute cameo against Swansea suggested he could fill that void.

The on-loan Inter Milan midfielder should not be suddenly seen as the cure to all of Sunderland’s ills.

Neither will Sunderland necessarily get the best out of him by immediately restoring him to the starting line-up.

Alvarez may be the perfect substitute during the early stages of his Sunderland career; a player who can take advantage of tired legs in the latter stages with his obvious array of trickery.

But when Gus Poyet’s philosophy is all about reliability in possession, Sunderland need someone in their midst capable of doing that little bit out of the ordinary.

As this campaign pans out, the Argentine could emerge as a pivotal figure.