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Who is Erick Pulgar? Things to know about the Chilean midfielder

With January window open, transfer rumor mill is in full swing

One man mentioned in connection with a move elsewhere is Erick Pulgar from Fiorentina. Leeds are reportedly ready to revive their pursuit of the midfielder, having been linked with him during the 2020 summer window, while Atletico Madrid have also been previously cited with interest.

Don’t you know who he is? You are probably not alone, don’t worry. Here’s everything you need to know about the Chile international.

Erick PulgarRazvan Marin
Pulgar is always at the heart of the action | Gabriele Maltinti / Getty Images

Pulgar is a central midfielder, typically functioning as the deepest defensive midfielder in a three midfielder for his national team, Chile. For Fiorentina he was used both as a number four and in a slightly more advanced midfielder role.

Standing at 6’1, the 27-year-old is a tenacious pitbull from a midfielder that Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli has previously described as “powerful”. He made 66 Serie A tackles last season, averaging two per game.

Pulgar also has goals in him, an eye for an assist and quality in the final third, finding the net seven times last season.

Erick pulgar
Pulgar can operate in central midfield and central defense | Gabriele Maltinti / Getty Images

Able to function as a defensive midfielder and in a more advanced role, Pulgar offers a lot of versatility in the middle of the park.

However, he can also be deployed in a more defensive role, having started as a center-back.

Pulgar started his professional career as a center-back with Deportes Antofagasta in his native Chile. A stint at Universidad Catolica in 2014 saw him switch between center-back and defensive midfielder, but it wasn’t until his arrival in Bologna the following year that the defensive midfielder became the main position of the Chilean international.

Erick pulgar
Pulgar in penalty for Fiorentina | Gabriele Maltinti / Getty Images

Pulgar is a bit of a theatrical specialist. He’s no stranger to finding the net with a superb free kick or two, scoring a special beauty at an acute angle for Bologna against Sampdoria in 2019.

He also has poor corner delivery, making seven assists from the corners in the 2019/20 season. Pulgar even scored directly from a corner for Bologna against Fiorentina in the 2017/18 season.

And he’s not a bad penalty taker, either.

“It’s not as easy to take penalties as Pulgar draws them,” said Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic. El Grafico“Regarding the free kicks, I can already say that he is better than me.”

Pulgar caught attention at the Copa America | NELSON ALMEIDA / Getty Images

Pulgar’s performance at the 2019 Copa America ultimately earned him his big move to Fiorentina.

The midfielder played every minute of Chile’s run to the semi-finals of the competition, transforming a player from the match performance in his country’s victory on penalties in the quarter-finals against Colombia.

Few Chilean players came out of their 3-0 semi-final in Peru with much credit, but once again, Pulgar was considered the star player of his squad. A € 10million move to Fiorentina followed this summer.

Pulgar has never hesitated to clearly express his noble ambitions.

After his stellar performance at the Copa America, the Bologna man said La Tercera that he was grateful for his move to Serie A, but that he wanted to move elsewhere in order to improve.

“I’ve been in Bologna for four years, it’s a beautiful city and I’m used to it, but now is the time to take the leap,” said Pulgar. “I need it. I have to take a step forward in my career to be able to fight for more things, ”