Thursday, June 1, 2023

Liverpool Face Competition From Aston Villa For This Dominant Midfielder: Should Klopp Seal The Deal?

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Ankit Seth
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According to a report from Mirror, Liverpool are facing tough competition from Aston Villa in their pursuit of Manuel Ugarte from Sporting Lisbon. The player from Uruguay has excelled in Lisbon and is being discussed as a potential transfer to the Premier League, with the Reds monitoring his situation for a while now.

Ugarte’s Impressive Stats For Sporting CP

Ugarte had a brilliant start to this campaign as he put in a series of dominant displays at the park’s centre. The central midfielder is yet to open his account in the offence but has performed extraordinarily on the defensive side. He has appeared in 43 matches so far and remains a key player for the Portuguese outfit.

The Montevideo-born talent has been consistent and reliable in the midfield areas after averaging 3.8 tackles, 1.9 interceptions and 1.2 dribbles per game in Liga Portugal.

He has also been impressive with his ball distribution after completing 91.7% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Manuel Ugarte of Sporting Lisbon
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 16: Manuel Ugarte of Sporting CP battles for possession with Ben White of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 leg two match between Arsenal FC and Sporting CP at Emirates Stadium on March 16, 2023, in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Should Liverpool Boss Jurgen Klopp Seal The Deal For Ugarte?

The talented Uruguayan midfielder has taken the Portuguese capital by storm with his remarkable performances for Sporting Lisbon. The 21-year-old has quickly become a vital cog in the team’s midfield, showcasing his immense potential and attracting attention from top clubs in the Premier League.

Ugarte has an exceptional ability to dictate the game’s tempo from midfield. His vision and composure on the ball allow him to orchestrate Sporting Lisbon’s attacks, initiating swift transitions and creating opportunities for his teammates. Whether through precise long-range passes or intricate short combinations, Ugarte’s distribution skills have been a joy to behold.

One of Ugarte’s defining characteristics is his boundless energy and relentless work rate. He covers every blade of grass on the pitch, acting as a tireless box-to-box midfielder. His defensive contribution cannot be overlooked either, as he seamlessly combines his offensive instincts with timely interceptions, well-timed tackles, and an impressive ability to regain possession.

Ugarte’s performances for Lisbon this season have firmly established him as one of European football’s most exciting young prospects. It comes as no surprise that Unai Emery is also keen and has him on his radar as he prepares for his first summer transfer window since arriving at Villa Park. Hence, Jurgen Klopp should prioritise bringing him to Anfield, as they’ve already cooled down on the pursuit of Jude Bellingham.

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