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Tottenham Hotspur: Manuel Ugarte in Spurs’ sights

Tottenham Hotspur: Manuel Ugarte in Spurs' sights - Premier League News

Tottenham Hotspur now have their sights set on a move for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Manuel Ugarte, according to reports from Portugal.

The Lowdown: Tottenham linked with Ugarte

As per A Bola (via Sport Witness), Spurs were among many top European clubs who were planning to keep an eye on Ugarte’s performances for Uruguay at the World Cup. However, the 21-year-old did not play a single minute in Qatar, having been named on the bench for all three of his country’s group games, so Antonio Conte has not had a recent opportunity to see him in action.

Nonetheless, the interest on Spurs’ behalf appears as though it hasn’t diminished, as they are now one of the main clubs in the running for his signature…

The Latest: Ugarte in Spurs’ sights

According to Record (via Sport Witness), Tottenham have their sights set on the youngster, and they could capitalise on Sporting’s failure to offer him a suitable contract.

Only Spurs are tagged in the report, which would perhaps suggest that they are one of the leading contenders to sign the player, who currently has a €60m (£53m) release clause penned into his contract, which runs until June 2026.

The Verdict: Worth it?

Conte has already had the chance to see the defensive midfielder in action, as Ugarte flourished in Sporting’s 2-0 victory against Tottenham in September, winning the joint-most ground duels of any player on his team (six).

While he showcased his defensive acumen in that game, the Uruguayan is also very impressive in distributing the ball, with an average pass completion rate per 90 of 91.9% over the past year placing him in the 99th percentile compared to his positional peers in Europe’s major leagues.

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Lauded as a ‘midfield machine‘ by Football Talent Scout Jacek Kulig, the youngster’s tackling ability also stands out. He has averaged 3.85 tackles per 90 in 2022, again placing him in the 99th percentile among positional peers, and it’s a big increase on the 1.7 per game recorded by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

At just 21, Ugarte is still some way off reaching his vast potential, and based on the figures above he would be able to run the Tottenham midfield for years to come.

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