Fredy or not here he comes!

So finally the long and seemingly painful search for a proven goal scorer has come to and end for the Vancouver Whitecaps with the loan signing of Fredy Montero from Chinese side Tianjin Teda FC.

This being MLS the details of the actual deal are about as murky and convoluted as an Oliver Stone movie but at least the former Seattle Sounder has a bona fide record of putting the ball into the back of the net.

The big question now is whether the Whitecaps can get the best out of him.

Carl Robinson has already said that he intends to use Montero as a number nine which begs the question “Exactly what kind of number nine?”.

Play him the way that Octavio Rivero was played (unsplendid isolation) and the Colombian will likely end up as a diminutive tribute act to the Uruguayan; all rolling eyes and forlornly outstretched arms.

But if Robinson can figure out a way to get players in support of Montero then the forward line could be formidable indeed.

And the positive news is that he now has exactly the kind of players to do just that with Reyna, Manneh, Barnes, Techera, Bolaños, Davie, Mezquida et al all far happier going forward than tracking back.

It’s debateable whether the coach will be willing to grant his team that kind of freedom but he could use his favoured double defensive midfield set up to simply allow all those ahead of them free reign.

It’s an exciting prospect for the fan but it’s probably something of a pipe dream.

For one thing Robinson just isn’t that kind of coach and for another the disappointing nature of last season may well instill even more initial conservatism into both him and the players.

Perhaps if he were given a cast iron guarantee that the fans and the media would show patience over the first few weeks if things didn’t quite work out as promised then Robinson would be willing to take more of a risk, but the memory of 2016 and Champion’s League qualifier against the Red Bulls cuts that slack down to almost nothing.

So we’ll probably see Montero playing with a high number ten with the two wide men operating as much as midfielders as forwards.

Not as great from an aesthetic point of view but at least a step up (both literally and metaphorically) from last season.


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