The attacking midfielder's performances were enough to attract the attention of Europe's big clubs, and with his contract expiring at the end of the calendar year, he was highly coveted at a knockdown price. Arsenal were heavily linked with the player, with it even reported in May 2011, that 'Alvarez becomes first summer signing of the transfer window.'
The report proved to be false, and a fortnight later he signed for Inter Milan, for a tidy sum of just £1.7 million. So how has it gone at Inter?
Not very well to be honest, which in itself is a reason why Arsenal may decide against signing him if he were available, although we all know what Arsene Wenger did for Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry after their own failed spells in Serie A.
If Inter are looking to cash in, it is because he has failed to make a real impact for the Nerazzuri in his debut season, and so far this campaign. It has not been helped by Inter's management issues, last season they had three different first team bosses and struggled for an identity.
Alvarez was an early victim of that, looking lost in an unsettled side, rather than fitting into a settled system as he could have done had he joined Arsenal. So his form is reason one.
Reason two: He has also been plagued by knee problems earlier in his career and at Inter, which has meant he has played less than 90 games, even though he is 24.
In context, Jack Wilshere, just 20, and who missed a season through injury, has played just eight less matches than Alvarez in his career despite being four years younger.
Are they true? Who knows, but we doubt it, because here are eight more reasons why Alvarez would not be a good fit for the Gunners midfield.
3) Santi Cazorla, 4) Mikel Arteta, 5) Abou Diaby, 6) Jack Wilshere, 7) Francis Coquelin, 8) Emmanuel Frimpong, 9) Aaron Ramsey 10) Tomas Rosicky.
Arsenal are flush with options, having to fit the above eight into just three spots. And this is with Alex Song departed and no 'replacement' signed for him. Wenger is going to find it tough enough to choose between a fully fit four of Cazorla, Arteta, Diaby and Wilshere, not to mention the other four.
They don't need an extra option added to the mix, and the stage Alvarez is at in his career, he needs to be at a club he will play regularly, not sit on the bench, even if that means dropping down a level.
And then if you are looking at playing Alvarez in an attacking midfield role, there is the suddenly rejuvenated Andrei Arshavin in his path. Reason 11.
All in all it doesn't look like a logical move for the player, his chance to join Arsenal may well have passed him by last summer, and we would be surprised if the club went in for him, or any other midfielder in the near future.
Sorry Ricky, the inn is full.
image: © sheffieldfcarchive