Saturday, December 3, 2022

Update On West Ham United’s Pursuit Of This Talented Right-Back: Should Moyes Get Him On Board?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Marca has provided an update on West Ham United’s pursuit of River Plate right-back, Gonzalo Montiel, this summer. The Spanish news outlet has claimed that the Hammers will have to fork out €12m to acquire the services of the Argentine defender in this off-season. However, David Moyes’ side can expect to face fierce competition from AS Roma, Torino, Real Betis and Bayer 04 Leverkusen as they are all closely monitoring the South American sensation’s progress under the stewardship of Marcelo Gallardo (via Marca).

Montiel’s Recent Emergence In The Argentine Top-Flight

Montiel has experienced an excellent campaign in the Argentine Superliga after producing a series of impressive displays on the right side of the River Plate defence so far. He has made 20 appearances for the Argentine giants this term, providing three assists across multiple competitions which proves just how creative he can be in the opposition half.

The 23-year-old can influence the game at both ends of the field as evidenced by his average of 2.0 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 1.3 clearances, 0.7 shots, 1.1 key passes and 0.9 dribbles in every 90 minutes of league football this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers showcase his defensive prowess, but he still needs to improve his end-product in the final third if he intends to establish himself as a world-class full-back someday.

The River Plate youth product has also earned four senior caps for the Argentine national team but is still waiting to net his first goal for his homeland. Maybe a summer switch to the English capital could provide Montiel with a more prominent stage to prove his worth and capture the attention of Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni before next year’s Copa America following the competition’s postponement because of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Update on West Ham United's pursuit of Gonzolo Montiel who is seen in the picture
Gonzalo Montiel of River Plate fights for the ball with Cristian Vega of Central Cordoba during a match between River Plate and Central Cordoba de Santiago del Estero as part of Superliga 2019/20 at Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti on February 2, 2020 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)

What Will The Argentine International Bring To The London Stadium?

Montiel can use quickness and agility to make a few driving runs with the ball down the right flank. Even though the Argentine is predominantly a right-back by nature, yet he is highly versatile and can also fill in as a centre-half or operate in a more advanced role on the right-wing if required. His remarkable versatility, coupled with his excellent turn of pace, makes him a constant nuisance for the opposition players.

The El Monumental fan-favourite is also a reliable presence inside his own half as he can perform his defensive duties well by keeping a solid shape at the back. He is not shy about putting his body on the line to earn the ball back for his team. Furthermore, Montiel can read the danger quickly that allows him to pull off a few crucial last-ditch clearances as well. However, the Argentine is not the best distributor of the ball as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 76.3% in the Argentine first division this season (stats via whoscored).

Should The East London Giants Get Montiel On Board This Summer?

The River Plate prospect will not only add more creativity and pace to David Moyes’ backline but also enhance the overall depth of his squad. Montiel will also provide some healthy competition for the likes of Ryan Fredericks, Pablo Zabaleta and Jeremy Ngakia in the race to secure a regular right-back berth at the London Stadium in the upcoming campaign.

Therefore, it makes sense for the Hammers to get him on board ahead of the new season as he has the potential to sort out a lot of their defensive and creative problems in the years to come.

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