According to French paper L’Equipe, midfielder João Moutinho has handed in a transfer request at AS Monaco, just 17 months after arriving.
With 13 Ligue 1 appearances this season, things haven’t gone as expected. With the lofty hopes following the injection of money by new owner Dimitry Rybolovlev, Monaco finished second in the league last season and qualified for the Champions League.
But since, trying to defend last season’s jolting success has been much more difficult. The club sits in eighth position in the French top flight, and with Falcao and James Rodriguez both let go in the summer, the team’s goalscoring is way down from last year.
The 28-year-old Portuguese international was one of many big-money purchases by the principality club a summer ago, but things haven’t panned out like the new Russian owners would have hoped this season.
In his 13 appearances, Moutinho has just an 82% passing completion percentage while completing just 15 of his 45 attempted tackles and just 9 of 22 aerial duels, according to Squawka statistics. While he has a 76% success rate on take-ons, he’s only attempted 17 in his 13 matches. All these numbers don’t substantiate well for a central midfielder.
He hasn’t been helped by his teammates either. While creating 22 chances this year, he has yet to record an assist.
The club bought Moutinho alongside James Rodriguez, Falcao, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Lacina Traore, and Jeremy Toulalan during the summer of 2013. Falcao and Rodriguez have since been sold, while Traore has returned after being sent on loan to Everton last season.
It’s possible that Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City could all be in the market for a top-level midfielder this winter, and since high quality players rarely become available in the winter transfer window, Moutinho could become a very wanted man, especially around the Premier League.