Swansea City winger Jefferson Montero has played a huge role in our away wins to date this season but since his latest injury setback last month, we’ve not quite looked as threatening in the final third on our travels.
Ever since he picked up an injury in training after the incredible late win at Millwall in September – we haven’t won a game on the road in his absence.
It’s worth remembering though that we did produce an excellent performance away at Wigan Athletic where we did enough to win the game but Montero has shown the ability to put chances on a plate for McBurnie to score. The Scottish international striker must be pitching for the winger’s return!
Not only that, but the stats also show that we’ve not scored a goal away from home without Jefferson Montero on the pitch all season.
Our four goals scored on our travels this season have come in the wins at Sheffield United on the opening day and at Millwall – both won in very similar fashion – coming back from 1-0 deficits with Montero coming on as a second-half substitute to make a big difference.
He assisted both goals in the win at Millwall and he also played a big part in the win at Bramall Lane too. After McBurnie’s equaliser, he gave the striker a great chance to get his brace but he headed Montero’s cross just wide of the far post after good work from the winger near the by-line.
Moments later, Montero went on one of his trademark runs down the left flank before sending over a decent cross that picked out the unmarked Barrie McKay who let fly with an excellent volley that came back off the bar.
The third time he was allowed space down the left saw him create our winning goal. Another excellent run and cross, McKay again picked up the ball at the back post and as he went to move inside he was brought down inside the box but Dhanda was well positioned to strike home.
Looking at the stats, it’s quite remarkable to see the difference with and without Jefferson Montero away from home. No goals and conceding three goals compared to one is also important and the stats also suggest that draws were turned into wins thanks to the Ecuadorian.
Montero is expected back around the end of October so you’d expect us to be without him for the next two to three games at the very least.
So who can Graham Potter turn to in his absence? Dan James is the first player that springs to mind. He showed glimpses of what Montero has done for us in the 3-2 home defeat against Ipswich. That almost effortless ability to knock the ball on past a fullback and get in behind the defence, get to the by-line and put in a good cross. New signings McKay and Asoro have struggled to step up to the standard and it’s no surprise that Potter has recently turned to the likes of Dan James for a wide, attacking outlet.