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Unión Española's Jonathan Villagra: The Chilean Warrior worth watching


Written and produced by: @PanoScout


Player Profile:

Name: Jonathan Gabriel Villagra Bustamante Age: 22 ( 28/03/2001 ) Nationality: Chile

Position: Centre Back Preferred Foot: Right Height: 1.83 m Contract: Dec 31, 2024

Jonathan Villagra - Early Life


Jonathan Villagra is a Chilean player who currently plays for Union Española in Chile’s 1st division. He is a youth product of Cobreloa, where he stayed until the age of 15 before joining Union Española.


His main position wasn’t always a central defender. In fact, he started his career as an attacking midfielder but due to his athleticism and strong body type, Union Española saw his potential in the heart of the defence.


The 22-year-old has stated that he grew up idolising Arturo Vidal and Sergio Ramos and we can see this in the way he conducts himself on the pitch.


Strengths & Weaknesses


Strengths: Sharpness, body strength, stamina, athleticism, teamwork, aggression, leadership, tackling


Weaknesses: Jumping, reach, aerial duels, technical attributes

Villagra isn't your ball playing defender but he's a great defender due to his aggressiveness, body strength and willingness to steal the ball back, protecting his area. He is a warrior in his approach play, as he wears his heart on his sleeve, protecting his goal with everything he has.


As an aggressive defender with great awareness, he knows exactly where to position himself. With good communication skills with his teammates, he knows where to operate on the pitch in order to interrupt a potential and dangerous counter attack.


Villagra is a defender who can offer protection in the penalty area, making important clearances, blocks and smart tackles when required.

He is not the fastest on the pitch but due to the way in which he sets himself up defensively, he doesn't leave himself vulnerable in one and one situations.


Due to his attitude, Villagra doesn’t like conceding goal and his number one aim is to protect his own area by any means.


In one and one ground duels, the Chilean is usually stronger than his opponents, using his strength as well as choosing to mark his opponents closely. Giving them no space forces opponents to look for an alternative route.


His aerial duels can still improve. He needs to work on his positioning when challenging with opponents in the air who are looking to receive a long ball.

If you're looking for a defender who can play out from the back effectively, Villagra doesn't fit the bill. In possession, he prefers to look for long balls rather than breaking the lines.


Standing at 1.83m, he's not the tallest for a central defender, and that’s something that makes him vulnerable on aerial duels. His jumping reach isn't the best, and so he needs to learn how to position himself better in order to win the ball back.


Formations


Villagra is best suited as a RCB in a 4-2-3-1 formation. This is where he is most comfortable, especially when playing as a right central defender in a back 4, but he can also operate in a back three with full backs.


Here, we see Villagra as a defender who will block shots, put in hard tackles and prevent potential counter attacks.


He can play as a right central defender in a back 3 while he’s got a number 6 to provide some depth.


Villagra's future


Staying in Chile until summer of 2024 is the best move for him. He would be a great fit for clubs that play with a low defensive line but he could perform well in a high defensive line.


As of now, Villagra is not ready yet to play in one of the top five leagues but he has the potential to move into leagues such as Belgium or Sweden.


The 22-year-old has the potential to become a very good CB due to his physical attributes. Improving his aerial duels and passing ability will take him to the next level.

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