Thursday, March 23, 2023

Barcelona Are Eager To Move In For This Gifted Midfielder: Should Xavi Get Him On Board?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Sport stated that Barcelona are eager to move in for Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte. It has been claimed that the Catalan club are hoping to acquire the services of the Uruguay international in the summer.

Ugarte’s Impressive Form At The Estádio José Alvalade This Season

Ugarte is experiencing a solid campaign in Portuguese football as he has managed to put in a run of dominant displays at the centre of Sporting’s midfield. The 21-year-old has featured in 35 matches for the Portuguese club this season across various competitions.

The Montevideo-born talent has been a reliable performer in the middle of the park based on his average of 3.7 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 0.6 clearances, 0.8 shots, 0.5 key passes and 1.1 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Liga Portugal. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from midfield after completing 91% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Ugarte is under contract at Sporting until the summer of 2026. Thus, it won’t be easy for Barca to land him on the cheap at the end of this season.

Nou Camp
Nou Camp

Should Barcelona Boss Xavi Get Ugarte On Board?

Ugarte is a solid tackler of the ball and can read the danger well to secure the ball back for his team at the centre of the park. He doesn’t mind putting his foot through the ball when needed and can create some inviting chances for his teammates in the final third.

Ugarte is primarily a defensive midfielder but can also fill in as a box-to-box midfielder if his manager tells him to do so. He can strike the ball well from long range.

The Uruguayan sensation can even make a few energetic runs with the ball from midfield. He is an accurate passer of the ball as well but is still unproven at the highest level.

Still, there is no denying that Ugarte will be a good fit for Xavi‘s brand of football at the Nou Camp. Furthermore, he has what it takes to serve as an ideal long-term successor to Sergio Busquets who is in the last legs of his playing career at the Catalan club.

At 21, Ugarte has the potential to become a future star in European football. Thus, Barca would be wise to get him on board during the summer transfer period as he is well-equipped to be a success story at the Nou Camp in the long run.

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