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Melgar, a great recruiter: the young pillars of the ‘Rojinegro’ who can contribute to the Peruvian team

On the slopes of the Misti volcano, the people of Arequipa erupt in jubilation at the extraordinary conquest of Melgar in the Opening Tournament, sealed in the beautiful province of Sullana. For several dates now, the ‘Domino’ dominated incessantly at the top of the competition and this Sunday he sentenced his consecration with the goalless draw against Alianza Atlético. It’s time to celebrate the great campaign in this half of the year and continue dreaming internationally.

With regard to this important title of the red and black club, which drives it to fight for the third star in its history, it is important to highlight the protagonists of this success, which has spread internationally. Beyond veteran figures such as Bernardo Cuesta, Carlos Cáceda, Martín Pérez Guedes, among others, there is a very important youth base in Melgar that deserves special recognition.

Of the team from Arequipa it cannot be said, with great precision, that it manages an insurmountable youth academy, but what there is no doubt about -at this point- is that it is an excellent recruiter of young promises. In fact, most of his emerging figures have initially trained in other teams such as EGB, Sport Boys, Alianza Lima and more.

This, to clarify, does not mean -in any way- that Melgar is doing a bad job in his minor divisions. In fact, the red and black club is the true leader of Group C (South Zone) in the 2022 Reserve Tournament. But, the current squad shows that the Arequipeños have prevailed lately for knowing how to recruit key players to their squad.

Thanks to Paolo Reyna, Walter Tandazo, Luis Ibertco, among other soccer players who have been consolidating professionally, Melgar’s team represents a lot of projection for the future. On this youth base, a historic campaign is being built this 2022. They will have to be taken into account, then, for the next process of the Peruvian team, where those featured in this note can contribute a lot to what is to come.

Alexis Arias (26 years old)

The player born in Bellavista, Callao, began his football training with the Sport Boys shirt. He also wore the colors of the Esther Grande de Bentin (EGB). In the middle of that initial and formative journey, Alexis Arias traveled to Europe to pass some tests in the Dutch Twente in 2010. But he returned to Peru and, in 2014, he attended the call of Juan Máximo Reynoso to join the ranks of Melgar.

In the Arequipa club, ‘El Chaka’ made his professional debut and was the great youthful revelation in Reynoso’s memorable stage on the bench (2014-2017). Today, already 26 years old, he has established himself as a standard bearer for the red and black team, and has even been called up to the absolute Peruvian national team.

This mid-season for Arias has been phenomenal. He has been one of the most active players in the red and black club, having played the 18 Apertura games (15 starts) and providing two assists. As if that were not enough, ‘El Chaka’ is also one of Melgar’s brightest stars in the Copa Sudamericana, being the protagonist in the nine games he has played so far.

In the group stage of the international tournament, was the player with the most key passes (27) and in the first leg of the round of 16, in Colombia against Deportivo Cali, he was the star of the match. On the return leg, in Arequipa, he hopes to continue down the same path of triumph. The truth is that the progression of Alexis Arias is increasingly positive and can be a valuable card in the next World Cup process of the Peruvian team. Why not?

(Photo: GEC)

Kevin Quevedo (25 years old)

A fact that many did not know is that Kevin Quevedo began his adventure in Hector Chumpitaz Soccer Academy and then moved on to the minor divisions of academic, a club with which he made his professional debut in 2016. The following year, the promising winger moved to the classic rival, Alianza Lima, and there everyone was able to discover his enormous potential. He became national champion in his first season with the Blue and Whites and then continued to stand out at the individual level, which allowed him to find a place at the Goiás Esporte Club. With the Brazilian team, he was never able to take off and ended up walking out the back door in a year to be forgotten. In 2021, he returned to Peru, to Melgar, to begin his resurrection.

Although his first year was not as good as he would like, it helped him to find the rhythm of competition again and in this 2022 he has once again put the spotlight on himself with outstanding performances. The 25-year-old attacker is recovering his best level at Melgar, being even the team’s second scorer in the Apertura Tournament (4 goals)in which he has also provided three assists.

Of course, mostly Quevedo is used as a spare part by Nestor Lorenzo. In fact, counting Copa Sudamericana and Liga 1, he has only been a starter in seven of 20 games played, but his contribution has almost always been very valuable. Returning to the orbit of the Peruvian team will depend solely on him. Meanwhile, he is on the right track.

Kevin Quevedo is recovering his best level in Melgar |  Photo: @LigaFutProf

Luis Iberian (24 years old)

The promise fulfilled. Luis Iberico was trained in the San Martin University, a club with which he was crowned three-time champion of the Federation Cup in its category (1998). In the 2013 U-15 South American Championship, he showed his enormous talent by guiding Peru to the title of the tournament, being the top scorer with seven goals. After him, at his short 16 years, he debuted with the first team of the “Santos” until in 2017 he left that club to continue his career in Melgar. The rest is history.

With the red and black club, Iberico evolved as a footballer and stopped being a center forward to venture as a winger, a position where he has positively established himself today. Thanks to his outstanding performances, from 2021 he began to have opportunities in the national team and he will surely have more in the future. His present backs you up.

Iberico has played as a starter the nine matches of the Copa Sudamericana and has also participated in all the dates of the local tournament (18), although in five he started as a substitute. In those 27 games played, he scored five goals and gave one assist. He never ceased to be fundamental in the scheme of the Arequipa team during the season. And, most likely, he will not stop being so for everything that is coming.

(Photo: Melgar)

Alec Deneumostier (23 years old)

He trained for several years in the minor divisions of the GBS and then, in 2018, he had everything ready to play with the Sporting Cristal reserve team, but Alec Deneumostier preferred the offer from Melgar, who offered him to play with the professional team. And so began a special adventure for him.

In these five years, especially the current one, Deneumostier has been able to establish himself as the starting defender -unquestionably- of the Arequipa team. Although he complicated the red and black chances of winning the Apertura with his expulsion against Alianza Atlético, what prevails are his good performances throughout these six months.

The 23-year-old central defender has always started in the nine games that have been played so far in the South American. Also, He has participated in 15 of 18 Apertura matches, being a starter in the majority (11). Without a doubt, he can represent a great reinforcement behind the Peruvian team for the process that is coming for the 2026 World Cup, although he would have to fight for the position mainly against Miguel Araujo. In any scenario, he cannot be lost sight of.

Alec Deneumostier has established himself behind Melgar |  Photo: Fernando Sangama / @photo.gec

Alejandro Ramos (23 years old)

Melgar’s wingers have been fundamental in this first half of 2022. You have to start on the right. Alejandro Ramos was trained in the GBS and in the Sports Boys, debuting in the latter team in the Second Division. Upon achieving promotion to Primera in 2017, he stayed one more year in the Chalaco team and then joined the ranks of Alianza Universidad, where he played two seasons. Melgar realized the great projection of him by the band and signed him for the 2021 season.

Already in his first year with the rojinegros, Alejandro established himself as a starter and has continued along the same path in this half of 2022. He played 16 of the 18 Apertura matches, starting 14 of them, while in the South American he was only absent in a match due to accumulation of yellow cards. On the right wing, he can represent a good replacement for Luis Advíncula in the national team. He has plenty of potential.

Photo: EFE

Walter Tandazo (22 years old)

belonged to the minor divisions of Alianza Lima for many years, but in 2018 he decided to continue his training in the lower Melgar. Just one year was enough for Walter Tandazo to be elevated to the “Domino” first team and thus begin his adventures with the red and black shirt since 2019.

Its growth has been progressive and, today, it is a valuable piece in the Arequipa team. So far in this successful campaign, he has played 17 games, 11 in the local tournament and 6 in the South American tournament, totaling 910 minutes on the court. In his position, pivot, it is very difficult for him to aspire for a position in the national team, with Renato Tapia and Pedro Aquino in command, but he will fight to go further and further. That’s clear.

(Photo: Melgar Press)

Paolo Reyna (20 years old)

At this point, with Paul Reyna there is no longer any doubt about its high quality. In 2018, when he was just 16 years old, Melgar discovered his talent in the Colonel Bolognese of the Peru Cup and did not hesitate to add him to their ranks. The Arequipa team made him debut professionally the following year and, since then, the Tacneño youth began to trace his own path.

Already 20 years old, Reyna has established himself as the best left-back in Peruvian football today. In fact, in this first half of the year. He played 26 of the 27 games (all as a starter) that the Arequipa team has planned in this 2022 so far.

In addition, he led the defensive statistics of the South American, with 85 recoveries, 43 duels won, 30 takedowns and 19 interceptions between the previous phase and the group phase, according to SofaScore. He also broke it in the Apertura with a total of 51 tackles, 45 interceptions and 19 clearances. Nobody in his position surpasses him and, therefore, he can function calmly as a base for the future of the team.

(Photo: Facebook)

Matías Lazo (18 years old)

We cannot forget Matías Lazo, the U-20 with the most minutes added to the Melgar first team. Unlike the others, and, since last year, he was integrated into the senior squad.

In this 2022, Matías has played 16 games, 11 in the local tournament and 5 in South America, managing to add more than a thousand minutes on the field, which have been valuable for his career. Without a doubt, he is a defender with great projection and, today, he is considered within the U-20 team, like his teammates Kenji Cabrera and Bruno Portugal, who have also played in the first team of the ‘Dominoes ‘, but with less presence.

Photo: Instagram

Source: Elcomercio

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