The Brazilians £12.7m move to Boro in January 2008 is cited by Southgates critics as one of the poorest decisions of his management career.
A meagre return of ten goals in 42 games did not represent anywhere near value for money and Southgate confirmed that the club have learned from their mistake.
Any players that we bring in are agreed by all of us here, he said. We go through a process where we have all possible targets scouted.
But since Alves was signed, we have changed the whole policy and procedure and the way we go about our recruitment. We are a lot tighter in these procedures now.
Alves was off-loaded to Qatari club Al-Saad last month and Southgate added: Its easy to say that you would do things differently with hindsight.
When I look back over 18 months to two years I would make lots of changes to how I worked, how we recruited and how I prepare the team. Every manager would do that when he looks back. But you cant alter things and change results.
In hindsight we didnt have enough players of Premier League experience, and I have to accept the responsibility. It wasnt just Alves, there were a whole group of players who could have performed better.
More courses are on offer for youngsters from MFC in the Community during October half-term, held between October 26- 30 at MFC in the Community at Eston, Conyers School, Yarm, Laurence Jackson School, Guisborough, Hambleton Leisure Centre, Northallerton, Boroughbridge Leisure Centre, Ryehills School, Redcar, Bedale Leisure Centre, Northfield School, Billingham, and Thirsk School. Visit www.mfc.co.uk or ring 0871 282 1280.