Colombia are considering handing a call-up to Brighton starlet Steven Alzate for their Olympic Games qualifying tournament in January 2020. The Brighton debut-maker has already pledged his loyalty to Colombia and says the flair in his game comes from his South American heritage.
Alzate, who was born in London to Colombian parents, made an impressive Premier League bow at Newcastle on Saturday. The 21-year-old got his chance because Solly March has a minor hamstring problem and he played the full 90 minutes as the Seagulls came away from St James’ Park with a draw.
He started against Newcastle at left wing-back, but moved into a more central position during the second half and was later named as man of the match by Sky Sports as Albion had the better of a 0-0 scoreline.
That followed an impressive senior debut that Alzate made at Bristol Rovers in the Carabao Cup recently.
A midfielder by trade, he can also play wide or as a No.10 and puts his natural flamboyancy on the pitch down to his Colombian blood. “[Manager Graham Potter] told me when I have the guy one-v-one, just take him on. I just did the usual stuff I have been doing for the last few months. My parents are Colombian so I think the flair and skills, that’s the Colombian part of me.”
Alzate joined Brighton from Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee in 2017 and has featured regularly for Simon Rusk’s Under-23s. He also had a spell on loan at Swindon Town, where he made 22 appearances last season.
But Gareth Southgate might as well forget about trying to call Alzate up for the England in the future as the Camden-born starlet has his sights firmly set on representing the country of his parents at international level.
“I would love to play more for the Colombian national team than that of England,” he told Colombian radio station Caracol earlier this month.
That could lead to Alzate being called up by Colombia’s Under-23 squad for the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament on home soil between January 18-February 9.