Anthony Montezuma (Independiente del Valle) – Scout Report

Anthony Montezuma is a 16-year-old right wing-back or right-winger who plays for Independiente del Valle. Montezuma was picked up by Independiente del Valle in 2017 and has played for the 2019 & 2022 Copa Sudamericana winners since. He has mainly played as a right-winger throughout his young career but Juan Martinez converted him to a right wing-back for the under 18’s in the Copa Tango MDM. Anthony Montezuma was not selected for the U17 Sudamericano but could potentially compete with Jalisthon Angulo, Elias Lugo and Jalisthon Angulo for a place in the U17 World Cup squad at right-back.

Standing at around 1.70-1.75 meters with muscular legs and a strong upper body, Anthony Montezuma generates a lot of power despite not being the tallest. He is quick over short distances and very quick over long distances, preferring to sprint in straight lines. Montezuma has decent changes of directions and displays good agility. Montezuma protects the ball well in duels with his back towards the goal due to the power he generates from his legs, while he is also quite strong in shoulder-to-shoulder duels. As he is only around 1.70-1.75 meters, he is prone to losing aerial duels but it must be said that Montezuma gives his all to win aerial duels, displaying good bravery and determination.

Anthony Montezuma has good movement in first-phase possession as he always tries to make himself available. He has a good first touch under pressure and is comfortable playing one-touch passes in small spaces. Montezuma creates extra time for himself on his first touch by ball- and body manipulation, using quick body feints to put the opponent on the wrong foot. Montezuma displays excellent footwork and ball control in these situations, too. Even though he has the characteristics of being a very effective 1v1 dribbler, Montezuma sometimes seems to struggle in attacking 1v1s as he can sometimes seem indecisive and not confident enough to take on opponents. He also has mixed results when he does his actions at full speed.

In second- and last- phase possession, Anthony Montezuma displays a high intensity trying to make overlapping runs but also by making runs into the box. Montezuma can sporadically be a bit uncontrolled in front of goal but he generally strikes the ball really well and his finishing ability is pretty decent. He scored 7 goals in 9 matches for the U17’s this season. He displays decent vision in the final third, often spotting his teammates in the box and having the crossing and passing technique to execute those passes.

Montezuma surprised me positively defensively, even though the future will indicate how well he fares against stronger-level opponents. The Ecuadorian youngster covered runs in behind pretty well, while also cutting passing lanes and intercepting passes well. If he gets caught out of position, Montezuma’s excellent speed over long distances help him to catch up with his opponent. He is generally positively aggressive in the duels, often stepping up and trying to win back possession, but he can sporadically be too aggressive leading to fouls. Montezuma seemingly has a fighters mentality, always trying to win back the ball quickly after losing it. He also covers the right central defenders well when dealing with crosses and tries to help out in aerial duels in the box, despite not being the tallest.

I have watched Anthony Montezuma probably 15 to 20 times in the last 12 months and never really knew what to think of him as I did not think he was a winger. Now, at right wing-back, I think he has found his best position. His excellent speed over straight lines, good technique and footwork in small spaces, solid passing, good physical ability, decent final ball and great stamina and mentality are all characteristics of a wing-back. I am excited to see what the next 12 months bring for Anthony Montezuma but for now he has Gerald Mora and Erick Cabal ahead of him in the pecking order at the under 19’s. He has the potential to play for a club that battles for European football in Portugal or Belgium.

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