At 2.02 metres tall (6ft 7”) French midfielder Shelly Alvero certainly makes a physical impression, but the 21-year-old is keen to prove he is more than just a giant height-wise following his move to Werder Bremen on an initial loan from Lyon. Here we take a closer look at the new arrival at the Weser Stadion……
Werder Bremen have signed Alvero from Ligue 1 giants Lyon on an initial loan, but with a reported option to buy at the end of the season for €6.25 million. After gaining a top reputation in Ligue 2 with Sochaux, his career stalled at Lyon with a lack of game time. The Grün-Weißen are hoping he can kick on at the Weser Stadion and help them enjoy a successful Rückrunde.
Born in Stains (a suburb in Northern Paris) he joined the Red Star club before being snapped up by the Sochaux academy in 2017. He initially started out as an attacker before gradually moving into a deeper midfield role. He graduated quickly through the age ranks with Les Lionceaux and made his first-team debut in a Coupe de France match in October 2021.
After impressing with the reserve side, Alvero was promoted to the first-team, first as a back-up and then increasingly as a starter. Ligue 1 side Lyon has seen enough to convince them to sign him after just 31 Ligue 2 appearances. Les Gones paid a reported €4 million.
He has however only made eight appearances this season totalling 426 minutes with Lyon experiencing a highly unsettled season with three different coaches so far. He didn’t really feature under Laurent Blanc, but seemed to find favour with Italian Fabio Grosso, His sacking however saw Alvero once again left out when Pierre Sage took over and installed Corentin Tolisso and Maxence Caqueret as his midfield axis.
The loan move to the Bundesliga with Werder will give him a chance to acquire more game time and potentially earn a permanent move away from Lyon, where he has not enjoyed the most satisfactory of times. Borussia Mönchengladbach had previously been linked with the 21-year-old midfielder.
What they’re saying:
Clemens Fritz (Head of football): “Our aim was to increase the depth of our squad and we have done just that with the loan signing of Skelly. He’s a really interesting player and now has the chance to develop here. We managed to agree an affordable deal and will then sit down together in the summer and decide if we want to activate the buy option.”
Ole Werner (Werder trainer): “Skelly has plenty of experience in the French second division and has also played in Ligue 1 too. He’s a mature, robust player, who can operate as both an attacking and defensive midfielder. Skelly is someone who has his strengths in the footballing area, and has a good passing game technically. And even though he is as big as he is, that is certainly something that he can use much better – both in the air as well as in a duel.
“Of course, when you’re that size, you’re not always the most dynamic player in the first few metres – that’s practically what biology tells you, but we have a team that plays a style of football that can match your strengths.”
Skelly Alvero: ““Because of my size, I bring new qualities that probably don’t exist yet. I have a lot of options to act in midfield. The coach decides which position it will be. It’s a great opportunity for me. The Bundesliga is an interesting and respected league. There are also many young French players in the second division who have become very successful. That’s why I’m proud to play here.”