Nacho Monreal – what he offers, and what he’ll bring to the Arsenal squad

Posted: February 1, 2013 in Arsenal, La Liga, Premier League
Arsenal's new left-back

Arsenal’s new left-back

As a massive Arsenal fan, as well as a La Liga fan, it’s very rare that I get the chance to combine the two in a blog post. But, after the great news that we’d finally signed a player from La Liga, it makes this post very enjoyable to write.

Nacho Monreal joins Arsenal from the over-achieving Malaga; a team who are not only a joy to watch going forward, but also a team to admire when defending. Malaga bolster one of the best defences in La Liga, having only shipped in 19 goals in 21 league games. So, after the completion and capturing of Monreal, we have picked up a player who will bring some much needed solidity to our defence.

All 19 goals conceded.

All 19 goals conceded.

In terms of the signing, Monreal was a coup: £8.3M, and he’s on £55k-a-week. A player who, according to Wenger “Our scouts have followed his progress for a while”. Monreal has been learning English, a couple of months prior to his arrival, as it is believed that Arsenal had a pre-agreed deal to sign him in the Summer. What with the injury to Kieran Gibbs, it’s refreshing to see us bring a player of quality in and not have to persist with Andre Santos.

Monreal is a terrific left-back who, not only was one of the best left-backs in La Liga, is also Spain’s 2nd choice left-back. Monreal is a player who tends to build a strong bond with his counterpart on the left-flank. His link-up play with his team-mates is one of his strong points and, when he does get forward, he has the ability to put in a fantastic low/high cross with great precision. One of his greatest attributes is his heading, and winning aerial battles; this gives us an extra hand in terms of defensive outlets from corners. It’ll be interesting to see how his concentration levels fair at Arsenal as he’s usually a player who’s very short of calamitous errors in his locker, as well as silly mistakes. Hopefully lapses in concentration, and calamitous mistakes, aren’t contagious. Monreal has all the attributes of a wing-back, but his defensive contributions mean he’s an all-rounded left-back with great ability to both attack and defend. His positional awareness is flawless, and one of the best I’ve seen from a full-back in La Liga.

Monreal's average defensive contribution per game.

Monreal’s average defensive contribution per game.

What Monreal will bring to the side is quality in depth; and, also, without sounding too harsh, it means we won’t have to see Santos at left-back again in the Premier league. That’s the one problem that comes tied with signing Nacho – he’s cup tied in the Champions League. And, with Gibbs out injured, this means we’ll either see Vermaelen Vs Robben or Santos (read this whilst weeping) Vs Robben. Monreal will provide Gibbs with some great competition which’ll only make our player of the season, thus far, a better player. Healthy competition is always good, and I feel Monreal Vs Gibbs will be a fantastic battle which also sees us have the best left-back depth in the league, in my opinion.

All in all, I feel that Monreal is a player who will bring a lot of quality to this Arsenal team. He fits the bill perfectly with his quick, incisive passing and great technicality. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly he adapts to the English game considering the fact he’s built for it, and seems like he’ll take to it like a duck to water. A fantastic signing, and one that has had me singing his praises to many people; I just hope he doesn’t let me down. Also, don’t think he’s just a one season wonder, Monreal has been consistently performing since his Osasuna days; days which attracted interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid amongst many other big clubs.

Stats from the ever fantastic:

  1. I love arsenal.I am a big fun.wish my team all the best on their games.

  2. […] article on ESPN FC from the editor of LaLigaUK and this one from an Arsenal fan who follows La Liga take a very encouraging tone. Both provide some useful […]

  3. Rohit says:

    Great article, dude… To be honest, i kind of had a vague idea that Nacho was really good because his name often features in Football Manager as someone who attracts big clubs. But to know that he really is that good in the flesh and Arsenal have bought him, has left me in high spirits… Lookin forward to reading more of your articles… Cheers…

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