Liverpool’s pursuit of Sporting CP midfielder Manuel Ugarte has taken a significant step forward, with reports suggesting that the Reds are ready to submit a £52m bid for the talented player. Portuguese newspaper Record, via Paisley Gates, reveals that Liverpool has made contact with Ugarte’s agents, Jorge Chijane and Jorge Mendes, to express their interest in securing his services during the upcoming transfer window.
The potential signing of Ugarte could address some key issues in Liverpool’s midfield. The recent departures of James Milner, Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain mark the end of an era and highlight the need to build a new generation of success. The midfield now consists of young prospects like Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic, alongside experienced players such as Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara, who are entering the latter stages of their careers. Follow your favourite Premier League team with attractive football betting odds from Empire777.
Furthermore, the decline in the performances of Brazilian midfielder Fabinho has been noticeable, with his work rate and consistency dropping this season. Liverpool’s struggles in terms of distance covered during matches exemplify the need for a player who can improve the midfield’s energy levels. Ugarte, at just 22 years old, has showcased his abilities at Sporting CP, boasting an impressive 92% pass completion rate, successful dribbles (59%), 3.8 tackles per game, 1.9 interceptions per game, and an average of 7.3 duels won per game over 30 league appearances.
Comparing Ugarte’s statistics to those of Henderson, Thiago, and Fabinho this season highlights the Uruguayan’s contributions. He has completed more tackles and interceptions (170), possesses a higher aerial duels win rate (66.7%), has covered more ground (5601 yards), and made more ball recoveries (237) than Liverpool’s more experienced midfielders, according to FBref data.
Ugarte’s work ethic and performance on the pitch have garnered praise from experts. Journalist David Hendrick described him as a “monster” and a “ball-winning machine,” endorsing him as the ideal replacement for Fabinho.
Securing a deal for Ugarte this summer would not only address Liverpool’s midfield concerns but also inject energy and quality into their gameplay. With a potential £52m bid on the table, Liverpool and FSG position themselves favorably to enhance their squad ahead of the upcoming season. Get all the updates from the world of football only on Empire777 Sports.