Manuel Ugarte is expected to leave Sporting CP in the summer transfer window. Many clubs in Europe’s top-5 leagues are interested in him, because of his mouth-watering defensive stats.
Of course, the 22-year-old Uruguayan helps the team’s performance in all competitions, particularly in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.
Despite signing many new players in January. Chelsea are definitely preoccupied with signing a new defensive midfielder in the summer.
As a result, they have many DMs on their radar ahead of next season. Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are ready to battle next campaign.
The West London club are looking to equip positions like goalkeeper, defensive midfielder, and striker. So as to balance the team’s display.
According to Jornal De Noticias, Chelsea have joined the race to sign Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP in Portugal. The Blues have been watching him for a while.
Even though the West London club have many defensive midfielders on their radar. They are one of the clubs wanting to sign the 22-year-old Uruguayan.
Chelsea potential midfield targets for next season
- Declan Rice (West Ham United)
- Manuel Ugarte (Sporting CP
- Manu Kone (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
- Romeo Lavia (Southampton)
Initially, it was said that Liverpool were interested in bringing the 22-year-old Uruguayan to Anfield. However, the report wasn’t entirely true.
According to Neil Jones of Goal, he confirmed Manuel Ugarte isn’t a target for the Reds. Jurgen Klopp’s side has many other priorities in the morning.
On the contrary, Chelsea are also one of the clubs showing interest in Declan Rice of West Ham United. He has been on their radar for many years.
According to several reports, the Englishman is expected to join Arsenal next season. The Gunners are ready to break the bank for his signature.
On the other hand, Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian confirmed that Manchester United intend to rival Arsenal in signing Declan Rice next season.
Chelsea are most likely to join the battle to sign the English defensive midfielder. Because they want an ideal partner for Enzo Fernández.
Of course, the West London club are going to be very careful in the summer, because of FFP rules. Nevertheless, they are expected to sign one or two new players.
The Blues may face competition from the likes of Aston Villa and Newcastle. The two Premier League clubs also want to sign the Uruguayan youngster.
West Ham United are reportedly going to ask for more than £100 million for Rice. And they will only sell him to a club participating in the UEFA Champions League.
Meanwhile, Chelsea can sign Manuel Ugarte and Moisés Caicedo for £120 million. As a result, it’s going to be a long summer for the West London club.
What’s the difference between Manuel Ugarte and Declan Rice?
Actually, there’s no vast difference between the two defensive midfielders. They both hold their ground in the midfield, frustrating the opponent’s players.
However, the Englishman had been making waves in Europe’s top-5 leagues, before the arrival of Ugarte at Sporting CP.
As a result, it’s wise enough to believe that Declan Rice has more experience than the 22-year-old Uruguayan.
Enzo Fernández isn’t a standard defensive midfielder, he’s currently playing out of position at Chelsea.
Therefore, both Rice and Ugarte have the ability to partner with the Argentine youngster. They can both boost and upgrade the team’s midfield.
Another difference is build up play, the Uruguay international is flawless in build up play. However, it’s the other way around for the Englishman.
Interestingly, Declan Rice is the only player in Europe’s top-5 leagues with the following defensive metrics.
- 322 possessions won
- 62 interceptions
- 51 clearances
- 38 dribbles completed
- 36 aerial duels won
- 36 chances created
- 33 shots
Meanwhile, Manuel Ugarte has made more 50+ successful tackles (63) and interceptions (54) than any player in the Primeira Liga for Sporting CP this campaign.
No player in Europe’s top-5 leagues holds this kind of defensive stats. Obviously, there’s no massive difference between the two midfielders.
Also, he has had the most tackles in the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League this campaign. However, he’s just 22-year-old, and controls the midfield.
Manuel Ugarte stats are actually unbelievable in the UCL. He has the most tackles (29) in the competition, and the most duels won (56).
At the same time, he has the most tackles (74) in their league and the most duels won (146). Of course, he has the ability to succeed in the Premier League.
Apparently, Declan Rice is 24-year-old while Manuel Ugarte is 22-year-old. As a result, the Englishman has more experience than the Uruguayan.
Manuel Ugarte strengths
- Short passing
- Press resistance
- Work rate
Obviously, the 22-year-old Uruguayan doesn’t have any significant weaknesses as a defensive midfielder. He’s a complete and standard DM.
As regards Manuel Ugarte stats, he has the ability to dominate the Premier League like Declan Rice. And he still has room for improvement.
Declan Rice strengths
- Aerial duels
- Ball winning
- Work rate
Of course, Rice is second-to-none in the world of football. He’s literally the most complete defensive midfielder, when talking about youngsters.
Having spent many years in the Premier League. He’s expected to make waves at Chelsea, or any other English club next season..
Manuel Ugarte stats vs Declan Rice in the league this season
|Stats||Manuel Ugarte||Declan Rice|
|Pass accuracy %||91.42||87.59|
|Long pass accuracy %||71.59||67.63|
|Aerial duel success %||66.67||59.02|
|Ground duel success %||55.77||58.69|
Why Chelsea may consider signing Ugarte instead of Rice?
Price and resale value
Obviously, West Ham United are going to demand more than £100 million for Declan Rice. While Manuel Ugarte is worth just £53 million from Sporting CP.
The West London club have already broken the bank with many new signings in January. As a result, they are most unlikely to spend blindly next season.
Declan Rice is apparently worth more than £100 million. However, the Blues may feel reluctant about spending such a huge amount of money on him.
Aside from that, they would think about resale value, because of the future. The 22-year-old Uruguayan obviously a good resale value as he’s still young.
With Mauricio Pochettino on his way to Stamford Bridge as the Blues new head coach. The Blues would consider the midfield to have the best positioning on the pitch.
Ugarte can comfortably play as a single defensive midfielder, having seen his all-around statistics for Sporting CP this campaign.
However, Rice cannot play as a single pivot. He always needs someone beside him to command the midfield defensively.
The Englishman’s positioning is good in the midfield. But his inability to play as a single DM may hinder his move to Chelsea next campaign.
Like I said earlier, the Hammers defensive midfielder isn’t good at building from the back. That doesn’t go well with Mauricio Pochettino’s style of play.
The Argentine gaffer wants someone who can demand the ball very well in midfield. That’s why the Englishman may not end up at Chelsea.
Meanwhile, the Sporting CP youngster is very brilliant in the build-up phase. He’s the link between the defense and the attack, always looks balanced.
Manuel Ugarte was the main reason Arsenal were eliminated from the UEFA Europa League. He single-handedly outplayed Partey, Xhaka, and Jorginho.
Enzo Fernández partnership
Obviously, Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali would sign a defensive midfielder, who could build something amazing with Fernández.
The West London club believes the Argentine youngster is part of their future, having a 8-year contract with the Premier League side.
Talking about Manuel Ugarte stats, he’s a more ideal midfield partner for Enzo Fernández. They can both cause havoc in the league for Chelsea.
In all fairness, Rice is also the perfect partner for the 22-year-old. Nevertheless, Ugarte looks more balanced beside Enzo Fernández.