Every week ArseDNA takes an in depth look at a young player coming through the ranks at Arsenal, last week was Dutch Midfielder Kyle Ebecilio, this week is the turn of Swiss Defender Elton Monteiro.
Age – 18
Nationality – Swiss
Position – Centre Back
Elton Monteiro is a 6’3 Centre Back signed from Swiss club FC Sion when he was 16. Monteiro is eligible to play for both Switzerland and Portugal but has already pledged his allegiance to his home-grown country Switzerland. Althought Monteiro has just recently accepted a call up for Portugal U20’s latest squad for games against Australia. Monteiro has virtually everything in his locker; he is quick, tall, and strong and can play with the ball at his feet, all things Wenger looks for when grooming Centre backs for the First Team. Monteiro signed his first Professional Contract last year.
Monteiro had a shakey start to his Arsenal career and was involved in that 10-1 hammering against Villa a few years ago, in which he had a dire game. However since then he has been involved regularly in the U18’s as well as the Reserves/U21’s. Monteiro has had the benefit of playing under Steve Bould, who of course is a legendary Arsenal Centre Back, so who better to learn from than the current Arsenal Assistant Coach. When reading match reports about Monteiro in previous seasons it seemed as though the young Centre Back was prone to an error or two.
Comparisons will of course be made with Johan Djourou. Tall, Swiss and error prone. However on paper Djourou has all the attributes to be a very good centre back, but just hasn’t been able to cut the errors out of his game. Monteiro unlike Djourou has time on his hands and it is perfectly normal for an 18 year old Centre Back to be making errors in judgement and position. Hopefully as he plays more games at higher levels the mistakes will eradicate.
Last season Elton Monteiro captained the Arsenal U18’s side making 23 appearances scoring 2 goals and throwing in some very decent displays which caught the eye of Reserve coach Neil Banfield. Monteiro went on to feature 8 times for the Reserves last season, including 5 starts. Under Monteiro’s leadership Arsenal U18’s narrowly just missed out on the U18 title last season by 2 points.
Monteiro has built on from last season and has started 3 games for the U21’s this season. Monteiro started in wins against Everton and Bolton, as well as a 4-1 defeat to West Ham. As well as featuring in the U21’s Monteiro has been an ever present in Arsenal’s NextGen Series campaign. Monteiro has helped Arsenal keep 2 clean sheets thus far and after 3 games Arsenal have taken 4 points with 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat. Monteiro will hope to maintain his place in the NextGen Series squad in the upcoming games, as well as some more U21 starts which will no doubt give Monteiro more experience.
Monteiro will be hoping to follow the footsteps of fellow compatriot Martin Angha in carving his way into the Arsenal First Team set up. Monteiro seems to be making steady improvement, filled with raw natural ability; Monteiro has everything a young Centre Back needs to have. The rest is now down to Monteiro, the mistakes that have hampered him early on in his time at Arsenal hopefully will be behind him. We will surely see more of Monteiro as the season goes on and possibly a call up to the Capital One Cup Squad next season.
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