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Special Wonderkid: Elías Montiel Scout Analysis

Name: Elías Montiel

Birth (Nationality): Mexico (Tula de Allende)

DOB: Oct 7, 2005 (17)

Height: 1,70 m

Position: Central Midfield

Preferred Foot: Right

Market Value ( ?

Current Club: CF Pachuca (Liga MX Apertura)

Contract Until: ?


Elías Montiel Scout Report Analysis

Elías Montiel, 17, has only given us a small sample size within first-team football. Still, nevertheless, the central midfield looks to have taken his early chances at Pachuca and looks to have an incredibly bright future. Elías Montiel made his way through the CF Pachuca youth ranks 'Tuzos' - a key feature for the U15's side in 2019/20 before being promoted to the U16's and U18's the season in 2020/21. Still, just at the age of 16, Elías Montiel had made an excellent impression in the 2022/23 season for the U18s where the central midfielder scored five goals in 18 as CF Pachuca went on to finish 2nd (join points with 1st) in the Apertura stages. Good performances for the youth side earned Elías Montiel a call-up to the first team, who have played six games in their campaign, with Elías Montiel starting in the last five games. In those five games, Montiel has shown quality and maturity beyond his years in possession.

What stood out for me has to be his shirt number (196) and rolled socks (similar to Jack Grealish). Yes, his shirt number is 196. Even I had to look a few times.

Montiel is a technical style player and a playmaker - dictating play and using long or switches to change the direction of attacks playing in the 'number 8' position. He can dribble past opponents and has an excellent footballing IQ to make the right decisions. He tends to stay central (in the 4-4-2 system), but when the team build in wider areas, he'll operate in half-spaces, providing support.

Guillermo Almada, according to Wyscout, has used a 4-4-2 (which often resembles a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-1-1) 81% of the time during their games, and we have seen Elías Montiel comfortably play RCM and LCM of the midfield two and has already played more minutes than another other midfielder at the club. It's even more impressive, considering Elías Montiel didn't feature during the season's first game (489' at the time of writing) and often playing alongside the more positionally experienced midfielder Erick Sánchez. Montiel doesn't play much of a role in the initial deep build-up play from the goalkeeper, which is more down to CF Pachuca wanting to distribute to the wide areas during the build-up, or the goalkeeper may kick in long from distribution. When Pachuca do progress to the middle third or use central areas to build, Elías Montiel comes alive and is involved in getting the time to the finishing stages of attacks. He shifts over to the wider areas to provide support.

Elías Montiel is averaging a 92% pass completion rate, displaying his talents in possession and how well he looks after the ball. A brave midfielder who is showing evidence of being press-resistant and more so, he likes to pause possession, enticing a press/drawing out a defender so he can then move or pass into space.

Montiel isn't all about playing safe, either. 92% pass completion from 41.23 passes per 90 isn't him just playing short, safe sideways and backwards passing. Though these 'safe' passes can help a team tick and dictate, Elías Montiel shows an excellent passing range with an impressive technique that will improve with experience, confidence, and more responsibilities. 10% of his passes per match are long/switch passes (73% completion rate), and 24% are forward, where he completes 90% of those passes. Elías Montiel likes to make things happen. Another excellent quality he possesses is his ability to perform actions with his weaker foot and confidence in his weaker foot. Using his left foot, he can play short to medium-range passes with speed and accuracy. The young midfielder has the world at his feet, and though we've got a small sample size, I believe he'll only get better, and so will his output.

Long Pass Map vs Houston Dynamo
Long Pass Map vs Houston Dynamo
Long Pass Map vs Querétaro
Long Pass Map vs. Querétaro

Decision-making is an ingredient in top-quality creative midfielders, and moving into the final third, Elías Montiel displays just that! He has excellent timing with his forward passes into the final third, and with his high volume of passes into the last third so far, the quality to complete these passes is once again evident.

Though Elías Montiel isn't a master of the 'La Pausa', he is undoubtedly a student and has used the technique several times when looking to move the ball into the final thirds. This may be him momentarily slowing down the play, waiting for an opportunity to arise to play a splitting pass or, on occasions, holding the ball and holding off defenders to create space for another player to receive in space.

Because of the small sample size, it would be intriguing to see if Montiel can add goals and assists to his game in the future. A reminder: he's only played five professional games and scored three goals in 2022 for the U18s, one being a penalty and one being a fortunate header. He's mostly played a deeper role for the youth teams but is now slightly advanced in a midfield two for the first team.

Montiel is agile and energetic despite being 5'6'', he isn't easily shrugged off, and isn't afraid to get about and get stuck into duels. Still, as we've touched on, the defensive department is an area for improvement. The 17-year-old shows brilliant determination and professionalism on the field and never looks to shy away. He responds well to losing the ball and not receiving a pass, keeps his head up and remains focused so I have little reason to doubt he's not determined enough to improve his defensive side of the game. Playing in the 4-4-2 system means he rarely ventures forward to break into the box and remains central and behind the attack as part of the rest defence, which I don't feel that responsibility suits the player best right now. Pachuca often get caught on counter-attacks, an area Elías Montiel lacks experience dealing with. If he were to transfer to a league playing at higher quality and speed in the future, tackling and positioning are areas for improvement. I believe playing a system where he had an anchoring partner would be best for the player.

All isn't terrible defensively, as we can see (below). Elías Montiel is excellent at keeping possession for his team when recovering the ball and getting his team to continue attacking forward. He's been impressive recovering in the final third and counter-pressing, which would suggest he's more comfortable with defending further up the pitch, and I'd agree. Montiel looks far more comfortable when counter-pressing in close proximity and can anticipate situations better.


Technical (4/5)

  • Excellent passing ability.

  • Excellent passing range.

  • Very good ball control.

  • Good close control when dribbling.

  • Weaker foot passing.

  • Good use of body feints to resist opposition-pressing players.

  • Good use of disguise passing.

  • Comfortable receiving facing towards own goal.

  • He needs work on tackling (He gets dribbled past too easily).

  • There is little evidence of shooting ability (small sample size).

Tactical (3/5)

Elías Montiel has played RCM and LCM for CF Pachuca this season in a 4-4-2 system.
Elías Montiel has played RCM and LCM for CF Pachuca this season in a 4-4-2 system.

  • Highly composed in possession.

  • Good decision-making in the final third.

  • Good at finding spaces to receive a pass from a teammate.

  • Good receiving in-between the lines and press resistant.

  • A problem solver when in tight spaces. Ability to be unpredictable

  • Good vision when in possession (constantly scans and reacting accordingly).

  • Decent anticipation reading the game to make interceptions.

  • Lacks positional awareness in CF Pachuca's 4-4-2 - gets exposed when opposition on attacking transitions.

  • Slow to track back during defensive transitions.

  • He is fairly poor at marking in defensive situations (tracking back and preventing the opponent from receiving possession).

  • His lost defensive duels too often lead to a chance for opposition.

Physical (3.5/5)

  • Remains balanced on the ball under pressure

  • Ability to change direction at speed.

  • Has the fitness required for a higher-level league in midfield (started last 5 games - showing signs of being able to recover after games well).

  • Decent stamina. At 17 years old, this can improve to good.

  • Agile

  • Decent starting speed

  • Fairly slow tracking back speed.

  • Poor jumping ability

  • Fairly poor strength - no ability to use physical force to win duels

Psychological (4.5/5)

  • Shows great professionalism.

  • Confident to try and be creative on the ball.

  • He reacts well to losing the ball.

  • Remains focused - doesn't get sucked in the emotion in the game.

  • Mature on the pitch.

  • A very vocal player - who likes to orchestrate.

  • He is determined in defensive duels.

  • Has a good work rate.

  • Good discipline.

Social (or anything to note)

  • He rarely gives away fouls.

  • Excellent discipline record (0 yellows and red cards).

  • Not a set-piece taker (took pens for youth team).

  • Currently, 0 errors made.


Overall Rating: 15/20

Potential to be a key figure in the top 5 leagues in Europe

Elías Montiel, in my opinion, has the potential to eventually be a mainstay player for clubs in the top 5 leagues. However, if he is interested in playing in Europe, moving to the Eredivisie, Primeira Liga, or Belgian Pro League would be a significant next step for his development. And have a coach who firmly believes in the small and highly technical players.

I'm not totally for player comparisons; I believe they can take away from the player and add expectations. But if I had to make a comparison, he reminds me of a young Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal. He is highly technical, displays maturity beyond his age and loves a battle.



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