El Centrocampista

Could Montoya be a part of Barca’s defence for years to come?

Martin Montoya Barcelona

Martin Montoya the young Barcelona right back has recently put pen to paper by tying down a contract extension with the club, amid recent transfer speculation linking him with a move to English Premier League side, Liverpool. Securing the services of such a promising talent has been music to the ears of the Barcelona faithful, knowing that the youngster has the potential to become an influential figure in seasons to come.

Montoya’s story began at Barcelona’s illustrious youth academy where like many of the current crop of Barcelona stars, he worked his way up through the ranks. The Spaniard spent a number of seasons plying his trade for the Barcelona B side in Liga Adelante, up until his performances began to attract the interest of Pep Guardiola and co.

His first team debut came in May 2011 and was an unfortunate one to say the least. An awkward fall on his shoulder forced him off the field in the early stages of the match, and ruled him out of action for the remainder of the season.

Yet ever since this setback, Montoya has showed a ‘Barca’ like ability to maintain possession in addition to demonstrating the essential attributes to be a top defender. Although it’s been difficult to secure a lengthy run in the team due to the class of Dani Alves in his way, the up side is that Montoya can continue to learn from his Brazilian team mate whilst continuing to impress in the opportunities that are handed to him.

So far Montoya has established himself as a marauding full back, possessing similar qualities to his fellow team mate and compatriot, Jordi Alba. He is able to generate bursts of electrifying pace in which he ghosts past opposing players with ease. This speed also enables him to successfully make recovery runs whenever he gets caught out of position and he is not one to shy away from a 50-50 challenge either.

His quality in the final third of the pitch is an area that most would like to see a significant improvement in. The final ball or his general crossing ability has let him down on a number of occasions and if he can improve in this area, there should be little doubt that he can step up to be one of the best full backs around.

The 22 year old has experienced a fair bit of success in his career already, and this hasn’t just occurred at club level. He has been a constant feature for all of the Spanish youth sides and has played an important role in both of the Under 21 winning sides that dominated the UEFA Championships in 2011, and 2013. Montoya was almost an ever present for the solid back four that rarely shipped goals; a fundamental component to the team’s overall success. As a result he was named in ‘UEFA’s Team of the Tournament’ for the 2013 competition held in Israel.

Yet to make an appearance for the world champions, Montoya will be hoping that he can break into the team sooner rather than later, and experience similar success to the time he spent with the Under 21’s. However this won’t come without stiff competition as Daniel Carvajal of Real Madrid is sure to be hot on his heels. The future of Spain’s right back position surely lies with these two, and it will be intriguing to see who prevails.

Cementing a spot in Tito Martino’s starting 11 will be at the forefront of his current ambitions. It will be difficult to knock Dani Alves off his perch, but with time in the essence and a new crop of academy products to shine through, it may not be too long until Montoya finds himself as the first choice right back for the Catalan giants.

The new contract will keep Montoya at the Nou Camp until 2018 which suggests that the club have heaps of confidence in the player, and a strong belief that his future will be a prosperous one indeed.

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