It is official. Luis Montes will miss the World Cup after he sustained fractures to his tibia and fibula in a friendly game against Ecuador according to Cindy Boren of the Washington Post. But, how will this affect Mexico in Brazil?
Montes plays for Leon, where he has already secured two Liga MX titles. It was his tenacity and commitment that earned him his first call-up 11 months ago for the Gold Cup.
With El Tri he has played for Jose Manuel de la Torre and Miguel Herrera in different positions. He can take over the center of the pitch or any of the flanks with equal success.
2013 Gold Cup
Montes debuted in the second matchday against Canada. His speed and fine touch were key in Mexico's 2-0 victory.
The Leon midfielder played on the left and completed 26 passes, recovered six balls and had two shots.
In the following game, against Martinique, de la Torre decided to put him on the right and Montes responded again.
He scored his first goal with El Tri after a powerful long-distance shot. Montes proved how valuable his left foot can be.
His flexibility allowed him to play in the center of the pitch in the quarterfinals against Trinidad and Tobago.
Although he didn't have a very offensive role, Montes completed 28 passes and recovered seven balls.
For the semifinals, he went back to the left flank and scored again, this time with a header.
Mexico didn't advance to the final match, but Montes was a positive from the tournament. He showed that he is the kind of midfielder who can work well in a defensive role and can also make a difference on the scoreboard.
World Cup playoff and preparation games
Herrera understood that Montes was way more valuable as a winger, so he played on the right for the first leg and on the left for the second. He didn't score, but he completed 70 percent of his passes.
His performance continued to rise and he earned five more call-ups in 2014. Although he only played in the scoreless draw against Nigeria, he secured a spot on the Mexico World Cup team.
Montes went back to the starting line-up against Ecuador, just 12 days before Mexico's debut in Brazil.
As it has happened before, he made an impact on the score with a flawless left-footed shot from outside the box.
But, just one minute after his goal, Montes broke his right leg after a clash with Segundo Castillo.
In 34 minutes' action, Montes linked up well with his teammates and worked harder than many on the pitch.
Mexico hadn't had a player like Montes for a while; his unbalancing skills and ball possession are superb. If you add his powerful long-distance shots, you get a deadly midfielder.
Montes is elusive and creative, which results in depth for the team and goal opportunities for the forwards.
Herrera decided to call up Javier Aquino, but he will not cover Montes' position, as Aquino plays on the right, and Carlos Pena has proven to have that spot covered.
Andres Guardado is probably the best option for the left flank. He has played on that side his entire career and has enough experience in international competitions to tackle the challenge.
Another player who has been constantly proving that he wants to be a starter is Marco Fabian. In 2012, he played on that side at the Summer Olympics and fulfilled expectations.
Now with the senior team, he has proven to be on the right track too. He has scored six times, his last two against Israel and Ecuador.
Both Fabian and Guardado are gifted and can make a difference with their long-distance shots.
Although Herrera has at least two options to cover up the position, Montes was going through a better moment.
All advanced statistics provided by FEMEXFUT unless otherwise noted.
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