Often times when South American based players make their way to play in the Mexican first division (Liga MX), they are either players that just couldn’t cut it in Europe and have opted to go to Mexico to continue playing abroad while making a good salary or players who are on a second tier level who just are not good enough to play in Europe. Every once in a while, a young South American player comes to play in Mexico who uses the league as their stepping stone to go play in Europe.
Entering his third short season with Monarcas Morelia, Jefferson Montero has taken an interesting route to Mexico, but his play has seen him once again become a hot commodity that several European teams will be eager to sign during the 2014 summer transfer window.
Montero came to Monarcas Morelia as a 22 year old winger that had shown much promise with the Villarreal B team. He was unable to transition what he did with the B team over to the A team and then struggled when sent out on loan to La Liga sides Levante and Real Betis. Despite his struggles, Monarcas rolled the dice and decided to bring in the Ecuadorean and take a chance on the player being able to blossom with the club and potentially sell him later off for a nice return on their investment.
Since his arrival to the Michoacan based team, Montero has played as well as expected and shown why he was such a well thought of player when he was playing for Villarreal B. In the 47 league games he has played for Morelia, he has scored nine goals and done a very good job of forming a solid partnership with forward Hector Mancilla to form one of the best and most underrated attacking units in the Mexican first division. In addition, he was an instrumental force in Morelia winning the Copa MX Apertura 2013 title and will look to help Morelia qualify for the group stage in the upcoming edition of the Copa Libertadores.
Not only has Montero stood out for European suitors in Liga MX play, but his play for the Ecuadorean national team was instrumental in the team qualifying for the 2014 World Cup. Many times fans of Mexican futbol rightfully complain that there are too many foreign players who take away spots on first teams from promising young players who could develop if given the chance. Montero has proven to be the exception to that rule as he has followed in the footsteps of Alex Aguinaga and Agustin Delgado of Ecuadorans who have made their mark in Mexico. This has made him the best foreign player in the Liga MX which is why he has a number of European suitors wanting to sign him.