Espanyol have moved to fix their defensive issues with the signing of Mexico international Cesar Montes from Monterrey.
Los Pericos confirmed it would be a five-and-a-half year deal for Montes, taking him up until 2028 in Barcelona. The 25-year-old is a tall, imposing figure at the back with strong aerial ability and already plenty of experience.
😏¡Sí que existe, sí!
— RCD Espanyol de Barcelona (@RCDEspanyol) December 27, 2022
MD put the figure of the transfer at somewhere between €6m and €8m, which would make Montes Espanyol’s most expensive deal since spending €22.5m on Raul de Tomas in 2020, as well as their biggest deal since relegation.
At 25, Montes already has 265 games to his name with Monterrey. At the age of just 20, he made his Mexico debut in 2017 and has since won 44 caps for El Tri. He was also a starter in Mexico’s World Cup campaign in Qatar, playing all three games as Mexico would eventually go out in the group stage, despite only losing to Argentina.
He arrives in time for the Barcelona derby on Saturday, although it seems unlikely he would take part in that match. Espanyol will want him to step in soon though, with their defence cracking far too often this season.
Only three sides have worse defensive records in La Liga than the Blanc-i-blaus. They also sit precariously above the relegation zone, with just a point and two places separating them.
Manager Diego Martinez has publicly been asking for signings and this will hopefully just be the first of several if he gets his way. Leandro Cabrera, Sergi Gomez and Fernando Calero have been sharing duties in the middle of the Espanyol defence, but Montes is expected to win a starting spot as soon as he is up to speed.