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Nacho Monreal: the unsung hero of Arsenal's resurgence.

Friday 7th October 2016
After a rocky and very unpleasant start to his life at Arsenal, Nacho Monreal has fast become one of Wenger's most important players. In the almost four years he's been at the club he has progressed in leaps and bounds into one of the most reliable full-backs in not only Europe but World football.
After putting pen to paper on a new long-term contract in January Monreal has cemented himself into Wenger's plans for years to come. He's now the foundation and backbone of a team that Wenger has carefully assembled over the years. Not only was he our best full-back last season he was also our best defender.

Think of how far he's come, the season before last he was defined by that one performance, the 3-0 demolition by Everton, where Lukaku played on the right wing and completely annihilated him. This led to an uproar amongst the fans and many, including myself, called for his head, labelling him as an Andre Santos re-run. But boy has he proved us wrong. In fairness to Monreal, he was plunged into the deep end upon arrival, after arriving for £8.3 million in January 2013, Monreal made his debut for Arsenal away at, yeah you guessed it, Stoke and it didn't go too well.. Arsenal initially wanted to sign Monreal the following summer to give him time to acclimatise to English football & culture but an injury to Kieran Gibbs sped up the process. He had been scouted by Arsenal for months before and Wenger was encouraged by their reports.

Arsenal initially wanted to sign Monreal the following summer to give him time to acclimatise to English football & culture but an injury to Kieran Gibbs sped up the process. He had been scouted by Arsenal for months before and Wenger was encouraged by their reports.
It seems like every time we suffer multiple injuries Monreal is there to save us, why? Because he's so dependable. Ever since Wenger plunged him into the CB department due to an injury crisis, the Spaniard has been a new man. He reads the game better now and is accustomed to the physicality of the Premier League.

For those struggling to think of what special qualities Monreal brings to our team, that's the genius of him, his subtleness. For what he's not blessed for in size or speed he makes up for in focus, determination, concentration, positioning and resilience.

The Spanish full-back is a calculated performer both defensively and especially in his approaches to attack, he chooses his surges into the opposition's half carefully, as he has to be more reserved than his full-back counterpart Bellerin, in order to uphold the balance of the team. Monreal's diligence facilitates Bellerin's gung-ho mentality thus aiding the solidity of our defensive shape.
Last year Italian legend Andrea Pirlo professed his love for Arsenal but more specifically his admiration for the former Malaga man, "every time I've seen him play, he's been faultless." It's nice to see a player who diligently goes about his job week in week out finally get the plaudits he deserves. Hard work & consistency should never go unnoticed. He's a rock, a big game performer, Gibbs' mentor and our best full-back. Arsenal fans, let's learn to appreciate the greatness of Nacho Monreal before he eventually leaves us for Barcelona.
Mathaeus Abuwa

Arsenal fan with ample amounts of passion for both Cristiano Ronaldo & Real Madrid. I'm one of those bandwagonist hipster fans that will claim to know everything about football, but only watches the El Clasico outside of the Premier League. Forgive me, I'm trying. Oh yeah, #WengerOut. 


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