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Leeds United and the case of the fisherman’s tale

Every now and again a fisherman returns from his angling endeavours with one of two stories: ‘I caught one this big’ or ‘I had it nearly in the net when…’ The latter story is true when it comes to the case of Leeds United and Brian Montenegro.

Brian Guillermo Montengro Martínez, to give him his full Sunday name, signed on loan at Leeds United the same day Souleymane Doukara went from loan to permanent. September 1 2014 it was, and the exotically-named Paraguayan joined on loan from Nacional.

Was he given his chance in the first team? No, that’s the simple answer – he wasn’t. Six games was all that he was given in the first team – six games totalling 104 minutes. That was it. However, he was a standout in the Under-21 Development set-up where he topped the scoring for that season with 12 goals.

The highlight of that season of Under-21 football was three goals in a 4-1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town’s Under-21s. Observers at the game said that the now 23-year-old was head-and-shoulders above the rest on display that day. One who had words of praise for the Paraguayan youngster was Leeds’ then head coach Neil Redfearn.

Speaking to LUTV, as quoted on the Inside Futbol website , Redfearn was effusive in his praise of Montenegro. He said: Brian, with his hat-trick, took his goals well and looked bright in, and around, the box. His finishing was ecellent. He’s alive and alert in the box and he’s scored a lot of goals this season for the 21s.”

With words like that, you wonder why he did not feature more – yet the stark fact was he didn’t. But it’s something else that Redfearn says that makes some Leeds fans shudder.

It’s these portentous words that resonate at the moment: “So he’s one that’s got a really bright future if we can keep hold of him.”

The one that got away

Not only did Leeds not ‘keep hold of him’, they actually allowed him to return back to Nacional. He’s been back there for two seasons now – the goals have also kept flowing. In 2015 for Nacional it was seven goals in 17 games but that was only the start goal-wise.

This season past, the 2016 season, saw Montenegro make 22 appearances, garner 1,924 minutes on the pitch and contribute 18 goals. That’s right – 18 goals in 22 appearances at the rate of a goal every 106 minutes.

Trouble is, when Leeds United were crying out for a striker who could score consistently, there wasn’t one. I know naysayers will be all “oh but it’s the Paraguyan Premier league. Thats the equivalent of the Vanarama…”, but they were still goals.

Like a boxer who relies on punch power rather than finesse to defeat opponents, the last thing they lose is the dynamite in their fists. With Montenegro, the dynamite was in his boots last season.

Yet another one that Leeds United let off the hook and swim away.

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