Nacho Monreal has clearly made all the right moves since coming to Arsenal at the transfer deadline. He only trained with his team mates once before making his first Barclays Premier League appearance and Arsenal debut against the always physically intimidating Stoke City. In that match he showed that he is solid defensively and likes to get forward, delivering a number of threatening crosses and engaging in good interplay with his team mates. Even with Kieran Gibbs still being injured Arsene Wenger has allowed Andre Santos to leave on a six month loan deal, going back to Gremio in his native Brazil. This shows that Wenger clearly likes what he sees in Monreal plus Santos has lost match fitness due to his recent inactivity so it was getting increasingly unlikely that the Brazilian would appear again any time soon for the Gunners.
So far Monreal has definitely shown that he is up to the challenge of the English Premier League after another excellent, solid performance this past weekend against an up-for-it, combative Sunderland outfit. In a match where there was plenty of upheaval with Koscielny’s injury in the warm up and Jenkinson’s sending off, Nacho showed poise and reliability and delivered an exceptional performance. He did not make any defensive gaffs or put his team under any undue pressure. It was a classic Premier League match at the Stadium of Light with numerous chances and a high performance level from both teams and Monreal showed that he can certainly handle such matches.
Monreal looks cool and collected when he is on the ball and like so many of his countrymen he is an excellent passer of the ball and enjoys playing slick one-two’s and one touch, pass-and-move football with his fellow players. Santi Cazorla clearly played a part in him being signed from Malaga by the Gunners and it seems that there have only been good things said about the Spanish left-back and his limited time at the club as Baccary Sagna has come out today on the Arsenal.com website saying how impressed he is with him. Read the full article here.
So it seems Wenger still has a serious appreciation for Spanish players, shown by the extraordinary success of the brilliant Cazorla this season; his selection of the classy Mikel Arteta as the latest Spanish player to wear the Arsenal armband; and the positive early appearances from Monreal. Therefore it will be no surprise if Wenger adds more Spanish players to the Arsenal squad in the summer. (I guess a certain Cesc Fabregas may have something to do with the Boss’s appreciation of Spanish players too – do you think?)