Arsenal are reportedly interested in Ecuadorian winger Jefferson Montero—who recently confirmed he plans on leaving the Mexican league—but the Gunners would be wise to look somewhere else if they wish to upgrade their squad during the summer transfer window.
Per The Express' David Wright, Montero told reporters he has already received an offer to leave Mexican side Monarcas Morelia:
It’s certain that I’ll leave the league, but let’s see where I’ll go. We expect to sort it out within the next few days. I already have an offer, the club are handling it. Let’s see where I’ll go but for now I have some days off. I can tell you that it won’t be Mexico. It will be Europe and thank God we are working on it, I hope it works out.
Montero was part of Ecuador's World Cup squad that was eliminated during the group stages, playing in all three of his country's matches and picking up a yellow card along the way.
The 2014 World Cup was supposed to be Montero's chance to cash in, and he was widely expected to present himself as a viable transfer target with an excellent performance in Brazil.
It never happened. He was solid against Switzerland, less than impressive against Honduras and nearly invisible against France. Like so often during his career, Montero failed to live up to the expectations.
One of the most physically gifted wingers in the world, Montero is a technical virtuoso capable of making any opponent look foolish when he takes him on one-on-one. He's small, but incredibly quick, and he can do things with a ball most players can only dream of.
The key word, of course, is "can." Montero promises a lot, but he delivers very little. The 2014 World Cup was but the last example in a long line of disappointing performances for the winger—three appearances, no goals, no assists, one card.
Per WhoScored.com, he failed to score more than a single goal for any of those clubs during his time in La Liga, while registering four assists in total.
Because of his flashy playing style and his immense potential on a technical level, he remains a favourite of fans and scouts all over the globe. During the entire buildup to the World Cup, he was singled out as the main danger man for Ecuador, and one of the top breakout candidates of the tournament.
Lost in all the flash is the fact that the player simply isn't productive. His scoring record is below par, and he doesn't create that many chances for teammates either. He's an exciting player, but exciting players don't win you titles—productive players do.
Is it too late for Montero to turn into a productive player? Perhaps not, but should Arsenal—a club playing for silverware every season—really take a chance on a winger that has a track record of failure?
Let Montero move to a smaller club and develop his skills there. If he shows any signs of finally living up to his potential, the Gunners can always reignite their interest and bring him into the fold.
But a transfer move at this particular point would simply be a waste of time. There are other, more established options available on the market—players who have already proven they can be productive.
Those are the kinds of players the Gunners should be looking at, not a winger coming off a World Cup that ultimately ended in disappointment.