Fabio Paratici was a busy man throughout the last summer transfer window as he made a number of moves in an attempt to bolster the Tottenham Hotspur squad.
The Italian sporting director dipped into the market to sign Djed Spence, Fraser Forster, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Clement Lenglet, and Richarlison in an effort to hand Antonio Conte a strong team to work with.
However, not all of them have enjoyed successful starts to their careers at Spurs and one player, in particular, who has struggled to showcase his quality is Bissouma.
Only three outfield players – Lucas Moura, Byran Gil, and Japhet Tanganga – have averaged lower scores in the top-flight for Tottenham and he has also left a lot to be desired in Europe. The midfielder has averaged a Sofascore rating of 6.60 across three outings in the Champions League – the fourth-lowest score in the squad.
Paratici could now use the upcoming January transfer window to sign an immediate upgrade on the Mali international by securing a deal to sign Manuel Ugarte from Sporting CP.
Earlier this month, Portuguese outlet Record reported that Spurs are eyeing up the central midfielder ahead of next month, after he caught the eye against Conte’s side in the Champions League earlier this season.
The report claimed that the 21-year-old has a €60m (£53m) release clause in his contract and that his club want to convince him to put pen to paper on an extension that will increase it to €80m (£71m).
Spurs must now work hard to bring the Uruguay international as his performances this season indicate that he would be a big upgrade on Bissouma.
Ugarte also averaged a score of 6.83 across six outings in the Champions League, including a 7.2 rating against Spurs in a 2-0 win over the English side in September, and these statistics show that he has delivered more quality on the pitch than the Tottenham man this term.
The Sporting gem, who was once dubbed a “midfield machine” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, could offer more than Bissouma in terms of his week-to-week performances, the defensive contribution that he makes in the middle of the park, and similar passing quality.
He is also five years younger than the ex-Seagulls man, 26, and this means that he would offer more to Spurs in the long term as a prospect who could grow alongside the club.