Brighton defender Martin Montoya could be on his way back to one of his former clubs, with reports linking him with a possible exit from the Seagulls.
Montoya was Graham Potter’s first choice right-back for most of last season, starting 23 Premier League games and playing 27 matches altogether in the division (as per TransferMarkt). However, he lost his place in the side to teenage talent Tariq Lamptey towards the end of the campaign, with the ex-Chelsea youngster drawing glowing praise for his performances.
The Spanish defender, a Champions League winner with Barcelona nine years ago, has already played for Real Betis during a loan spell from Camp Nou in 2016, making 13 appearances for the Seville-based club.
Montoya won 2.1 tackles per game last season, the third-most of any Brighton player and just behind the leading match average of 2.2, while only three of his team-mates bettered his average of 0.8 key passes per game, with the right-back offering an ideal balance of defensive industry and attacking threat. [via WhoScored]
Indeed, after Ezequiel Schelotto’s summer departure, the Spaniard and Lamptey are the only two natural right-backs in Potter’s first team squad. While the likes of Bernardo, Adam Webster and recent arrival Joel Veltman can all play on the right, the Brighton manager is not exactly awash with bespoke right-back options.
Having played second fiddle to Lamptey towards the end of last season, it is understandable if Montoya is worried that he might not feature regularly in the upcoming campaign.
From Brighton’s point of view, though, selling him would be very risky as it would leave them with a teenager as their only genuine right-back, while his elder colleague has proven to be an important presence in the Seagulls’ team with his statistics.
Would Martin Montoya be a major loss if he leaves Brighton?
If the Spaniard is allowed to return to his homeland in this transfer window, it could be a decision that comes back to haunt Albion, especially if Lamptey suffers a lengthy injury or fails to kick on from his summer form.
Brighton fans, would it be a mistake to sell Montoya to Real Betis? Comment below with your views!
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