Manuel Ugarte to Tottenham Hotspur — Why his Signing Would be a Blessing in Disguise
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly continuing to keep an eye on Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte, as Antonio Conte plans for the January transfer window.
It is not the first time the Sporting CP player has been linked with a move to Spurs. The north London club were eyeing a summer move for the youngster but nothing fruitful happened.
According to Portuguese outlet O’Jogo , Tottenham are closely watching Manuel Ugarte at the ongoing 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The midfielder could feature for Uruguay against Portugal on Monday evening, giving Spurs the perfect chance to scout him further.
Ugarte, 21, has become a key cog of manager Ruben Amorim’s midfield this term. He has made 20 appearances across all competitions for Sporting CP, which includes featuring the full 90 minutes in the Portuguese side’s two Champions League group-stage games against Tottenham.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder was an unused substitute in Uruguay’s opener against South Korea, which ended in a goalless draw at the Education City Stadium last week.
Tottenham have given themselves a good chance to finish in the top four by starting well this Premier League season. They sit fourth in the table, but with Manchester United and Liverpool breathing down their neck, while Chelsea expected to improve after the World Cup break, Antonio Conte needs to add a couple of players to his squad to bolster his team’s top-four hopes.
Conte is apparently keen on signing a midfielder amidst links with Sporting CP’s Manuel Ugarte. Ugarte is the sort of player Tottenham could build their team around for years to come. The 21-year-old has shone for Sporting this season and earned a call-up to the Uruguay squad for the World Cup.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Ugarte has given a good account of himself based on his average of 3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 1.1 dribbles, 0.7 shots and 0.4 key passes per game in Liga NOS. The six-cap Uruguay international has even taken great care of the ball when distributing possession from the middle of the park as he has completed 91.7% of his attempted passes (stats courtesy:WhoScored).
Ugarte is a strong and committed player who excels in screening the backline from the No.6 position. He has done well in Sporting CP colours and has the required qualities to thrive in the hustle and bustle of Premier League football. At 21, he has a long way to go in his career but the potential is there with the player.
The young Uruguayan could cover and compete with Hojbjerg in Conte’s team, whilst improving the depth of the Tottenham squad. Plus, Ugarte is well known by current Spurs star Rodrigo Bentancur, and Conte might well hope that relationship at the international level helps him in prising the player away from Sporting in January.