This is Matt’s look at Ecuador international Jefferson Montero, who is at Blues on a season-long loan from Swansea.
Montero is a winger who will bring much needed pace to the Blues attack. However Montero plays more of the role of an impact substitute. He averages approximately 30 minutes per appearance and is tasked with injecting energy into his side’s attacks late in games.
There are not many elements to Montero’s role; he is asked to run at tired defenders and create chances for his team-mates, but he does this extremely well. Montero attempted 14.7 dribbles per 90 minutes last season, while the next highest in the league was 11.6; he also had one of the highest success rates among the prolific dribblers.
Montero attempted 9.1 crosses per 90 minutes, which is also comfortably the most in the league, while achieving a solid success rate on his crosses. His proficiency at creating chances is evidenced by his league-high 0.4 expected assists per 90 minutes.
All of these figures should be taken with a pinch of salt given the small sample size of approximately 500 minutes that Montero played last season. He also benefited from the circumstances in which he played, whereby he was coming into games at a late stage with a full tank of energy while defences were tiring, which is of huge benefit to a player like Montero. So we should not expect Montero to maintain this output if he is given a larger workload, but it does illustrate just how effective Montero can be in this specific role.
His only issue is his fitness. He does seem to get more than his fair share of injuries. He had to be replaced against Stoke, during our last home game, and now faces several weeks recovering according to the Blues Website.
To conclude, despite his injury issues, this seems to be another smart acquisition by Blues, especially given the departures of pacey attackers Che Adams and Isaac Vassell this summer. The addition of Montero gives Pep Clotet a new option off the bench who will offer a direct style of play, beating his man and putting crosses into the box. The presence of an impact player on Blues bench is something that has been lacking for a while, and Montero will fill this vacancy perfectly, if we can keep him fit.