Why Gonzalo Montiel could be a good signing for West Ham
According to Wales Online, West Ham have been linked with a summer move for right-back Gonzalo Montiel, who currently plies his trade with River Plate in the Argentine top-flight. As per the report, Hammers boss David Moyes is keen to bolster his full-back options heading into the upcoming campaign and has identified the 23-year-old as one of his targets.
Nottingham Forest star Matty Cash is understood to be West Ham’s prime target at right-back but the Hammers have been warned that they will need to fork out £15million to lure him away from the City Ground. (Mirror h/t Wales Online)
Gonzalo Montiel rose through the youth ranks at River Plate before making his first-team debut during the 2016 campaign. The 23-year-old gradually established himself as a first-team regular for the Argentine heavyweights, featuring regularly in the club’s Copa Libertadores campaign.
The 2-cap Argentine international has made 91 appearances for River Plate across all competitions, scoring once and claiming 7 assists in the process. The right-back started 19 times in the league last season as River Plate finished runners-up to Boca Juniors by just a solitary point.
West Ham’s right-back crisis
West Ham somehow dragged themselves through to safety in the Premier League last season as the Hammers finished 16th in the standings, just five points clear of the relegation zone.
David Moyes’ side conceded as many as 62 goals in 38 games in the previous campaign, which was the fifth-worst defensive record in the entire division after Aston Villa and the relegated trio of Norwich City, Watford and Bournemouth.
Hence, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that the East Londoners need to prioritise the recruitment of some fresh faces at the back this summer.
The Hammers currently find themselves stuck in limbo as far as their right-back options are concerned. Veteran Pablo Zabaleta and youngster Jeremy Ngakia have both departed the club following the expiry of their contracts.
That has left Moyes with Ryan Fredericks as the only specialist right-back in the squad. This means the Hammers will either need to buy someone or promote from within their academy ranks to add more depth to that department.
Why Montiel could be a good long-term solution
The 23-year-old’s consistently impressive displays in his homeland have earned him senior international recognition for La Albiceleste, something that speaks volumes of his development over the past few years.
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Montiel still has his best years ahead of him, so there’s a good chance that he will eventually be able to get to grips with the rough-and-tough nature of the English game.
The Argentina international looks more than capable of challenging Ryan Fredericks for the right-back role at the London Stadium, meaning that he could well be a long-term solution to the club’s woes in that department.