A while ago, Alejandro Pozuelo had a rather flailing career to deal with. He wasn’t scoring enough and wasn’t exactly playing for the biggest clubs in the world. Be it in England, Spain or in Belgium, his career never really got to the very top. But MLS has seen him become a very reliable player.
Pozuelo is a product of the Real Betis youth academy- the club he broke through in around 2011. His debut came in the 2011-12 campaign, making 20 appearances in all competitions that season. He contributed to a total of four goals that season. He had another season at the Benito Villamarin and it saw him score just one goal for the club.
A move to Swansea City in the Premier League followed. It was a spell that lasted a single season, as he could score no goal in that campaign for the club, the move very much a failed strategy. The Swans reacted and let the Spaniard go, as a move to Real Valladolid followed.
The time at Valladolid was hardly a fruitful time either. He could score one goal in 13 games in all competitions. And after another frustrating period, a move to Genk in Belgium followed. And it proved to be a much more impressive spell for the attacking midfielder.
He made 177 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 25 goals and racking up 60 assists. The 2016-17 season was the best of the bunch for him, as he found the net six times and got nine assists.
A move to Toronto then followed the player and after a very good spell in Belgium, it has helped him carry his career forward into the light. This past season was a rather impressive one for the Spaniard, as he has contributed to the most number of league goals in a single campaign of his career.
For the Canadian side, Pozuelo made 34 appearances in all competitions for the side. He racked up 14 goals, also picking up ten assists on the way. That’s the most he has ever contributed to a single season for himself.
Pozuelo has taken more shots on goal this past season than ever- 2.5. That has had a direct effect on his numbers, playing a role in its increase. He made 2.8 key passes per game for the side, also leading to a higher chance of getting assists for the side. He has also completed 2.2 dribbles per game for the side- more than ever.
Pozuelo was crucial in sending Toronto to the Eastern Conference final this past season. After beating giants New York City FC 2-1, Toronto boss Greg Vanney hailed Pozuelo:
“It’s a gutsy play by Poz. He held up the ball for us, he brought people into the play. He moved around, he fought for things, he helped lead us defensively – it was great.”
Playing behind a reliable striker in Jozy Altidore has been of some help for Pozuelo too. These are two players who couldn’t quite make the cut in the Premier League and had the pressure to thrive in the United States. Altidore got 12 goals and five assists for himself, contributing to the highest number of goals in the side.
Their combination has made many Toronto fans forget about the loss of Sebastian Giovinco to Al Hilal. And at 28, Pozuelo is finally coming of age. And it can only get better for him.