Martin Montoya has finally come to his career crossroads. This time a year ago, murmurs were already coming from his camp as to how unhappy the player was with a lack of game time etc.
It was a surprise therefore when the player put pen to paper on a new contract to tie him to the club until 2018. By the time of the winter break however, the youngster had only played in two games for the Catalans and so his agent started squawking again.
The same noises that had been made just six months previously reared their ugly head again. Montoya, apparently, had a "number of clubs" to choose from but guess what...not one move came to fruition.
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And here we are another six months further on and it's like groundhog day all over again.
Juan De Dios Carrasco noted (via Football Italia): "In football, anything is possible, even Montoya leaving Barcelona.
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"We’ll meet with the club in a week, we’ll try and make the situation less complicated by showing them the offers which have reached us. Is one of them Inter? I can’t say anything about that, I’ll just say that many clubs have made offers. We’ll have a better idea of the lad’s future next week."
One of those supposed many offers is expected to be from Liverpool with manager Brendan Rodgers known to be an admirer of the player. Given a lack of success in the transfer market thus far for the Irishman, isn't taking a punt on Montoya a gamble that Rodgers cannot risk taking? Moreover, is Montoya Liverpool quality?
On previous form you'd have to say no.
Rodgers likes his full-backs to attack, in a style not too dissimilar to Barca. For whatever reason, Montoya has a reticence to do so. Compare him to Dani Alves by way of example. The Brazilian is eight years older yet plays with the energy and commitment of someone eight years younger.
Alves absolutely owns that right hand channel and patrols it with vigour. His assist count, particularly to Lionel Messi, remains at the highest levels for a defender.
Montoya occasionally gets himself in the same positions but there is always, always hesitation. Whether that comes from a lack of confidence or a lack of ability matters not. Crosses are wayward, if they come at all and beating the opposition hasn't been Montoya's forte to this point either. Even if we were to assume that Rodgers wants Montoya to be a more defensive right-back - unlikely but possible - the youngster doesn't match up too well here either.
Not proven quality
Stats website Squawka note that he made only 11 successful tackles from 31 attempted which is hardly the sort of excellence that qualifies him to play for a team as high profile as Liverpool.
You have to admire Rodgers' desire to want to blood youth. After all, that really is his area of expertise. Yet, even though he's not quite at the last chance saloon, now is not the time for Rodgers to be gambling on a player. He needs to be buying proven quality and unfortunately, Montoya isn't there yet.
There's certainly no future for Montoya at Barca now, and he will move on during this summer window. But Brendan Rodgers needs to think long and hard before buying a player that isn't really a significant enough upgrade on Glen Johnson or Emre Can.
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