Why Martin Montoya would be a smart fit at Southampton
Back in August 2018, the Daily Mail had claimed that Southampton were interested in signing then Valencia right-back Martin Montoya. However, a deal didn’t go through and instead, the defender made the move to Brighton last summer.
Martin Montoya, 28, had a decent debut season in the Premier League with Brighton as the sea coast club narrowly avoided relegation. He made 25 appearances in the Premier League under former manager Chris Hughton.
New manager Graham Potter has gone with Montoya at right-back this season, with the Spaniard so far playing four out of five games.
With the 28-year-old completely settled in the Premier League, Southampton should reignite their interest in him when the transfer window reopens in January.
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl prioritised strengthening his attack over the summer by recruiting Moussa Djenepo and Che Adams as well as making Danny Ings’ loan move permanent.
The idea of gambling by ignoring defensive reinforcements, especially after last season’s royal struggles, has already come back to haunt the club.
While the Saints have seven points from their opening five games, they have been shaky at the back and leaked in six goals already. With Hasenhuttl preferring a three at the back system, Southampton should have signed a right wing-back to compete with the likes of Yan Valery and Cedric Soares.
Hasenhuttl has preferred Cedric over Valery at right wing-back this season but the Portuguese hasn’t been at his best.
Cedric isn’t yet to show that he is capable of performing his role in the Austrian tactician’s high-pressing system. Valery, meanwhile, has done performed commendably ever since the second half of last season.
After helping Southampton survive the drop, Hasenhuttl should look to improve this season. However, if we look at the quality of his squad, the Austrian manager should go for a new right-back in January. To put things plainly, he must offload Cedric and replace him with Montoya.
A youth product of the famed La Masia academy, Montoya is an aggressive right-back whose contributions on both halves of the pitch makes him a perfect candidate for the fullback role.
Modern-day fullbacks need to be more adventurous and attacking in nature, and the Spaniard always looks to drive forward. He can carry the ball up the pitch and link up play well.
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Defensively too the player has shown that he can stand his ground. Plus, Montoya’s volumes of experience and winning mentality would come handy for a Southampton side that wants to achieve a top-half finish this term.
In Hasenhuttl’s 3-4-2-1 system, Montoya would just be perfect at right wing-back. He would offer Valery competition as well as be the youngster’s mentor to help him develop.