Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Aston Villa Face Chelsea & Liverpool Competition To Land Gifted Talent: Should Emery Snap Him Up?

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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, The Daily Mail stated that Aston Villa are among the clubs hoping to land Sporting CP talent Manuel Ugarte. It has been claimed that the Villas could face competition in the form of Chelsea, Newcastle United and Liverpool in the race to recruit the Uruguay international during this summer transfer period.

Ugarte’s Impressive Form In Portuguese Football This Season

Ugarte is experiencing a solid campaign at the Portuguese club as he has put in a series of impressive performances for them at the centre of the park. The 22-year-old has participated in 46 matches for his current club this season, picking up one assist in the process on all fronts.

The Uruguayan talent has been a reliable performer for Sporting based on his average of 3.8 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 0.6 shots, 0.5 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in Liga Portugal. He has even been accurate when distributing the ball from midfield after completing 91.7% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

His current contract at the Portuguese club is set to run out in the summer of 2026. Hence, it won’t be easy for Aston Villa to sign him on the cheap in this off-season.

Manuel Ugarte
TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 24: Manuel Ugarte of Uruguay in action during the international friendly match between Japan and Uruguay at the National Stadium on March 24, 2023 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)

Should Aston Villa Boss Unai Emery Snap Ugarte Up?

Ugarte is a tough-tackling midfielder who can read the danger quickly to secure the ball back for his side at the centre of the park. He is full of energy and running at the centre of the park and has got the vision to engineer a few inviting chances for his teammates in the final third. However, there are some concerns over whether the Uruguayan midfield ace is good enough to make a smooth transition to life in Premier League football.

Still, the pros outweigh the cons of signing a player of Ugarte’s skillset. Thus, Aston Villa should focus on getting a deal done for him this summer.

We can expect Ugarte to add more bite and steel to Unai Emery’s midfield. He might even go on to form a dominant midfield partnership with Douglas Luiz at Villa Park next season. Therefore, the Villans would be wise to try everything they can to snap Ugarte up when the transfer window reopens later this year.

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