With the rise of Kylian Mbappe, Jadon Sancho and, perhaps next, Jude Bellingham, Europe’s top clubs are now having to pay large sums of money for even the youngest players. A reminder Bellingham is 16 years old and being linked to £35 million moves. Just let that sink in. With how talented some young prospects are and the how much they could potentially cost after ‘bursting onto the scene’ clubs have to be proactive. Perhaps spend one or two million on a 16 year old and take a punt. That’s exactly what Manchester City have done with Kluiverth Aguilar.
The Citizens have agreed a deal to sign the 16 year old from Peruvian side Alianza Lima. The fee is £1.5 million, with the right back arriving in Manchester in May 2021 when he turns 18. This is the proactive transfer activity that could save City spending more if he were to have a breakout season. Worst come worst scenario, they make a small loss which we know is a drop in the ocean for them. It’s a reflection of how good the club’s infrastructure is, regardless of their ‘financial misconduct’.
So why have they decided to spend over £1.5 million on someone who pretty much no-one has heard of? We’ll give you a rundown.
Of course it’s incredibly difficult to make an assessment on a player based on a highlight reel. Especially considering Aguilar has only made 2 appearances in the Peruvian top-flight and 9 appearances for the national team’s U17 side. The standard is obviously completely different, but we’ll give you our early impressions of the 16 year old:
Kluiverth Aguilar – Style of Play
Kluiverth Aguilar looks like a quick and very energetic fullback. Multiple times in the video, he times the slide tackles well and immediately springs to his feet to play the ball forward. He is quick to recover, either from going to ground or a forward being a yard ahead of him. South Americans are often tenacious and willing to get stuck in. The Peruvian certainly shows that in clips with the aggression in some of his challenges. But also great concentration and awareness not to always lunge in, sometimes swivelling and almost hooking the ball off the opponent. Technically sound defending.
Of course over time, you expect the Peru prospect to stay on his feet more. Slide tackling is a double edged sword that relies on you reading the game and timing the challenge right every single time. So far, it looks like he reads the play well. But as the standard improves and games get quicker, you ideally want better positional play and less reliance on going to ground.
At 5ft 10, Aguilar isn’t the tallest, which enables him to be agile and quite quick. Yet he’s quite well built with long legs and has a decent physical presence for a 16 year old. As shown in the video, the Sporting Cristal youth product uses his body well to get on the right side of the ball and shrug off his man.
It’s these characteristics that allow him to be solid at the back and effective going forward. Aguilar looks like a solid crosser of the ball, driving forward down the right flank in the highlight reel. Granted it is youth level football. But he shows composure wherever he is on the pitch and great awareness of the players around him.
You expect Manchester City to have done their research and seen something in him. Based on the clips he looks great for a 16 year old. It’s an exciting signing and who knows, Kluiverth Aguilar may be the next big thing in 2 years time. Worth watching this space…
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