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Monterrey sign Argentina international midfielder Maximiliano Meza from Independiente

The 26-year-old played for Argentina in last summer’s World Cup

Argentina v Mexico - International Friendly Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

Monterrey have made a dramatic move in the winter transfer market, acquiring Argentina international midfielder Maximiliano Meza from Club Altético Independiente.

The 26 year-old has made 10 appearances for the national team, including playing in all four matches at the World Cup, and now he’s in Monterrey, with the deal officially set to go through on January 1st. Meza also played in both Argentina friendlies against Mexico this past November, playing 23 minutes in the first match as a sub and 73 minutes as a starter in the match that was played four days later.

Meza typically played as an attacking midfielder last season at Independiente, but he’s also played as midfielder on both sides of the pitch and as winger as well. He played in 11 Primera División matches this season for Independiente, scoring once and assisting on another four goals.

In all, Meza scored nine goals and assisted on 14 others in 77 games for Independiente in two and a half years at the club. He joined Independiente from Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata in September of 2016. At Gimnasia, he played in 88 games, scoring 12 goals and registering eight assists. He came up through the youth system at Gimnasia, joining the first team from the U20 squad in 2012.

To make room for Meza, Monterrey said goodbye to Jesús Molina. Molina started in six matches last season as both a central defender and a defensive midfielder and came on as a sub six other times in the Liga MX Apertura 2018. The 30 year-old former Club América player joined Monterrey from Santos Laguna two years ago.

Monterrey acquiring another attacking midfielder after landing Rodolfo Pizarro from Chivas last summer is an interesting development. Will this mean the club will go back to a 4-3-3 formation with Pizarro and Meza joined by a defensive midfielder in the middle of the pitch? Or does this signify a full-time change to a 4-2-3-1 formation with the wingers seeing less and less time on the pitch as Diego Alonso looks to get the team playing a more possession based system, instead of the more direct play that Monterrey had played under Turco Mohamed?

Either way, Monterrey have, once again, landed a pretty big fish in a transfer window. Will it be enough for them to win the Clausura 2018?