The New York Red Bulls did a bit of business before the close of the summer transfer window, signing Lucas Monzón on loan from Danubio. Rumors and insinuendos tell inquiring minds there is a fee in the mid-six figures, with a share also paid (or to be paid) to his former youth club Juventud. However, these are confusing times with little-to-potentially-misconstrued detail shared, much to the frustration of all.
Even from a purely on-field basis it is difficult to learn much about Monzón. In a day and age when Transfermarkt and Wyscout give the impression that every player has reams of receipts to read, Monzón leaves a fairly thin trail. With the one-year anniversary of his Danubio debut coming this Saturday, Monzón’s entire professional career has taken place since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mere 24 games played largely behind closed doors in a league with a storied but erratic history of talent production. It’s a difficult track record for any laymen to parse, particularly ones 5,000 miles away. Indeed, as more diligent OaM readers may have noticed over the last couple weeks, our photo vendors do not have any images of Monzón available in their portfolios.
What we were able to do however is speak directly with some of those who know Uruguayan soccer the best. First was sports journalist Juanca Umpiérrez of Radio Fénix 1330 AM, who was happy to discuss Monzón, constantly emphasizing his speed. He describes the 19-year-old Uruguayan as “very fast, left-footed, and a very good defender” who “lacks polish” but will “surely” grow with match experience. The center back is highly regarded domestically, as local rivals Defensor Sporting are said to have offered two players and significant money to sign him.
Umpiérrez compares Monzón to former Danubio defender José María Giménez, who now runs the show for Atlético Madrid and is a stalwart with La Celeste, although there are “logical differences.” The teenager “undoubtedly” has national team potential, especially due to the difficulty in finding left-footed players. His issues with disciplinary infraction and physical play were often “unnecessary” and “costly,” but that penchant for youthful indiscretions appears to have diminished during his loan at Montevideo Wanderers.
The concerns with Monzón’s tendency to pick up cards were emphasized a bit more by fellow Uruguayan reporter Sebastián Videla of Futbol City. Though Videla says his “striking” physical qualities allowed Monzón to make an impact at professional level at a young age, he adds that the center back’s lack of experience and temperament led to excessive bookings. Videla expressed additional concern that a young squad in New York going through a crisis of confidence in recent weeks might not be the best place for Monzón to iron out these wrinkles to his game.
Nonetheless, Videla compared the newest Red Bull to the FC Barcelona center back Ronald Araujo, who like Monzón is from the Uruguay-Brazil borderlands. In his comments to OaM he emphasized that it’s not nothing to stand out in Danubio training sessions at such a young age, and that if there wasn’t potential for Monzón to improve, he wouldn’t have been sent on the loan to Wanderers that kept him in the first division.
If you want to learn more about Monzón, someone wrote a bit of a scouting report that can be accessed HERE. Though I’m not sure why you’d have to click, because Mister Umpiérrez and Videla already covered all the necessary details. Be grateful for their expertise and follow them on Twitter.
Additional reporting for this story was done by OaM contributor Juan Mesa