Five Pumas players to watch in Liga MX Clausura 2023: Alves, Salvio, Sosa...
Under new head coach Rafael Puente del Río, Pumas will bid to bounce back from an unsuccessful Apertura 2022 campaign.
After a disappointing Apertura 2022 tournament, Pumas will be looking to major figures in their first-team group to take the lead as they bid to bounce back in the Clausura 2023. Dani Alves is the squad’s spearhead, but there are also stand-out individuals like Eduardo Salvio and Sebastián Sosa.
With Rafael Puente del Río now in Pumas’ dugout, Los Auriazules are tasked with returning to the Liga MX playoffs and challenging for the title against sides with greater financial muscle.
1. Dani Alves
The name speaks for itself. A multiple trophy winner with the likes of Barcelona, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. One of the highest-profile footballers to have arrived in the Mexican game in all its history. Under Andrés Lillini, Alves played in a central-midfield role and dazzled with a good number of assists. Now, we will have to see if Puente del Río keeps him in the engine room or returns him to full-back.
2. Eduardo Salvio
A player who wore the No. 10 shirt at Argentinian giants Boca Juniors cannot go unnoticed. Pumas’ best player in the Apertura 2022, Salvio showcased all his talent from the get-go. If ‘Toto’ finds his stride, we could be talking about one of the top performers in the Liga MX.
3. Sebastián Sosa
A quality goalkeeper, Sosa is dependable in every department. He shone for Monarcas Morelia and was a safe pair of hands at Independiente de Avellaneda. At 36, he has signed for Pumas and will seek to emulate what Alfredo Talavera did a few months ago.
4. Ulises Rivas
Leonel López’s departure left a vacancy in midfield, and it seems that Rivas, who has joined from Santos Laguna, is to step into his shoes. A player with excellent vision and positional sense, Rivas takes great care of the ball. He and Higor Meritão could form one of the league’s best partnerships.
5. Gustavo del Prete
Del Prete did not have a successful Apertura 2022. He lost his starting spot, and looked unsettled and out of sync with the rest of the team. Now, after six months in Mexico, we will have to keep an eye on the former Estudiantes de la Plata footballer. He was on the scoresheet in Pumas’ Copa Sky defeat to Cruz Azul last week, and he wants more.
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