Thursday, June 1, 2023

Aston Villa Will Face Stiff Competition For This Talented Midfielder: What Will He Bring To Villa Park?

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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 interview with Give Me Sport, journalist Pete O’Rourke stated that Aston Villa will face stiff competition for Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte. O’Rourke said,

“Aston Villa are in there and amongst it. That shows that they see him as someone who could improve their team.

“There will be a big race for his signature in the summer if he leaves Sporting Lisbon.

“He’s performed well for the Portuguese club in Europe this season.”

Ugarte’s Impressive Numbers In Portuguese Football

Ugarte is enjoying a decent campaign at the Portuguese club after putting in a string of solid performances for them at the centre of the park. The Uruguay international has participated in 38 matches for Sporting this season, securing 13 yellow cards and one red card across all competitions.

The 21-year-old has proven his worth by averaging 3.9 tackles, 1.7 interceptions, 0.6 clearances, 0.7 shots, 0.5 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per 90 minutes in Liga Portugal. He has even been excellent when distributing the ball from midfield after making 91.2% of his attempted passes in Liga Portugal. He has even been accurate when distributing possession going forward after making 91.2% of his attempted passes in the Portuguese top tier (stats via whoscored).

Manuel Ugarte
TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 24: Manuel Ugarte of Uruguay controls the ball against Hidemasa Morita of Japan during the international friendly match between Japan and Uruguay at the National Stadium on March 24, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

What Will Ugarte Bring To Aston Villa?

Ugarte is a good tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to earn the ball back for his side in the middle of the park. He usually puts his foot through the ball when the opposition are on the front foot.

The Uruguayan sensation can also make a few dangerous runs with the ball from midfield. He is primarily a defensive midfielder but can also function as a box-to-box midfielder if his manager asks him to do so.

Someone with Ugarte’s skillset will no doubt be a massive signing for the Villans this summer. He is good enough to offer some serious competition for Boubacar Kamara and Douglas Luiz at Villa Park over the next few years.

Therefore, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery should think about launching a move for Ugarte in the summer as he will bring a lot of bite and steel to his midfield department. He might even help the West Midlands club push for a European spot in the Premier League next season.

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