Why Martin Montoya Was Barcelona's Most Surprising Player in 2014/15 SeasonMay 26, 2015
Martin Montoya has been a complete surprise during Barcelona's 2014/15 season. A let down even. To himself as much as to the club.
Per EFE (h/t Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC), in December Montoya and his agent expressed an interest in moving elsewhere.
Quite why the player didn't dig his heels in is unknown, but the fact remains that he was convinced to stay with the Blaugrana.
Decision made, you might then expect the player to go all out to take Dani Alves' right-back position in the side.
It's worth recalling that in the early part of the season, at least, Alves was nowhere near the level at which he finished the season. So, Montoya had the perfect opportunity to stake his claim.
To say he made Luis Enrique's decision easy is an understatement. Either he lacks confidence in the role given to him or in his own ability.
There certainly appears to be a reticence when the youngster has been given the opportunity to prove his worth.
It's fair to say that, yes, he isn't the same sort of player as Dani Alves, but Barcelona love their full-backs to attack. To drive forward at every opportunity. To get in the faces of the opposition.
Montoya doesn't do any of that.
He is a competent if unspectacular defender, but Barcelona don't do competent. They may not always do spectacular either, but it's a fair bet that Luis Enrique and his staff would expect their players to at least give their all as a bare minimum.
When have you ever seen Montoya coming off of the pitch dripping in sweat? Can we describe any of his performances from 2014/15 as "putting in a shift"?
The questions don't even need to be addressed.
At 24 years of age and with a manager who had his back—let's recall that Enrique was Montoya's manager at Barca B—this season was the perfect time to break out.
To let the world know about Martin Montoya. To give the club a viable option on that side of the defence and for them not to have to concern themselves with the posturings and self-aggrandizing of Alves' agent.
Per WhoScored.com, Montoya has failed dramatically. Nine appearances and two as substitute in all competitions with a solitary assist against Paris Saint-Germain.
Fichajes.net (via George Bellshaw of Metro) suggest the youngster has agreed terms with Liverpool ahead of a summer move to Anfield.
Clearly Martin Montoya is going to have to step up his game in the Premier League or risk being just another La Masia graduate who never fulfilled his potential.