Loving the title, I don’t think it will ever get old and I refuse to apologise for it. After all the drama of transfer deadline day and the maudlin’ feeling that we wouldn’t manage to sign anyone, Arsène bagged another Spanish gem. Liverpool tried to sign him ain 2011 but he went to Malaga, now he’s here with us.
Nacho Monreal is a Spanish international left back from Malaga with 9 international caps to his name and an impressive reputation in the Spanish League. Monreal is a former team-mate of Santi Cazorla and it makes sense to have him with us. Arsène has often said that the best talent available is in Spain and Germany and I don’t think anyone can be unhappy with an international-level full back to bolster our back line.
Arsène said “We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us,” said Arsenal’s manager. “We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we’ve been able to agree this move. Monreal is a strong left-sided defender with good experience at both club and international level. He is a technically gifted player, a good crosser in the final third and strong in the air. Monreal will add quality to our squad and, of course, to our defensive unit. We all look forward to him playing for us.”
We certainly do Arsène, we certainly do.
Interestingly, Cazorla used to play in front of Nacho at Malaga, on the left wing. Will Arsène think about renewing that partnership? I think not, I think Arsene wanted a left-back of top quality that could operate with little cover (because whoever we play on the wing seems to hate tracking back and defending) and command a bit of respect in the dressing room and on the pitch. Make no bones about it, Monreal is a serious addition. A top, top class player.
Arsène likes his transfer windows to get exciting on the last day, but I do wonder if he ever intended to bring anyone else in. I would love to be a fly on the wall for a transfer window to just see how ambitious we are and how often we are actually in for the players we hear about.
The important thing is that we have strengthened where we really needed it. It will be interesting to see the fate of Andre Santos, who I think still has something to offer, but match fitness is currently evading him. I think he could be dangerous filling in on the left wing. I think he has something about him, but defending at the top level is just a bit beyond him. I think he lacks the positional nounce required, but then Brazilian left-backs are reknowned for their forays forward, rather than their tough tackling, positional play. When fit, he can beat a man with a trick or shimmy and offer something.
Interesting times at Arsenal. We have to go for it now. There can be no more additions or changes. Arsène knows what he has now and he has to make it work.
Come on you Gooners, Stoke coming up and we need 3 points!