Manuel Veth –
Mexico’s Liga MX is one of the most underrated leagues in world football. But with the emergence of Hirving Lozano, many clubs in Europe have noticed what is perhaps one of the best, if not the best, league outside of Europe. It is, therefore, no surprise that Turkish giants Galatasaray are about to land talented left-back Gerardo Arteaga.
The 19-year-old Santos Laguna prospect has been one of the revelations in what has been a transition period for his club. Finishing 14th Santos Laguna missed the Apertura Liguilla (playoffs) by seven points and were never really in contention for one of the top eight spots.
Santos Laguna last won the national championship in 2015 when they secured the Clausura title with a 3-5 aggregate victory over Querétaro. Since then the club, which is known for a prolific youth system that also includes a fantastic scouting network that brings in youth prospects from the United States.
As a result of the youth setup and the focus on youth Santos Laguna are not shy testing young players and with an average age of 25.9 years have the fourth youngest squad in Liga MX. Although the young squad means that results can be inconsistent in a league in which many teams are on an even level it allows players like Gerardo Arteaga to receive plenty of playing time.
Gerardo Arteaga is Part of Santos Laguna’s Youth Movement
Deputing in the 2016-17 season 2017-18 season Arteaga managed 13 games since making his debut in which he had an accurate pass percentage of 84%, 2.0 interceptions per game, averaged 2.8 tackles and averaged 1.4 clearances per game. There are, however, some weaknesses. Arteaga is undoubtedly a defensively minded left-back, who does not like to go into dribbles. Averaging 0.3 dribbles per game Arteaga is not bad in one-on-one situations as he manages to win 40% of his dribbles.
But he will have to become more adventures if he wants to become a top left-back that will one day play in a top European league. At the same time, Ollie Duxbury a Liga MX analyst for Football Radar and a member of the Futbolgrad Network Golazo Podcast had the following to say about Arteaga: “He’s perfect for 19, can be a bit rash at some points given his age but always improving. Was good against Lobos [on matchday 1 of the Clausura last weekend] and offers a lot going forward.”
There is now a good chance that Arteaga will make a move to Galatasaray this winter. The Futbolgrad Network has learned that a deal is nearing completion. Similar to what is the case for Hirving Lozano at PSV Eindhoven for Arteaga the Turkish Süper Lig could become a good stepping stone for a top European league. As for Galatasaray fans they can be excited about a young and exciting young Mexican prospect coming from a league that is on a similar level that will, therefore, allow Arteaga to make a quick transition from Mexican football to the Turkish game.
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and social media editor at Bundesliga.com. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.