It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for Nacho Monreal.
First, it was reported by NBC’s Arsenal correspondent Gerry Stuart via the Daily Record that Monreal’s contract at the club had been terminated, which was then debunked by Goal’s Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts, who confirmed via Twitter that the initial claims of the Spaniard’s termination at the north London side were false and that the defender would return to training on Friday along with the other non-international players.
As well as confirmation that Monreal was staying at Arsenal, the Sun have followed up with a report that the 32-year-old left-back has signed a new one-year deal with the Gunners that includes an option to extend his tenure at the club until 2022.
Although it has been reported by the likes of BBC Sport that Arsenal are confident on agreeing a deal for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, keeping Monreal at the club for this season and potentially beyond could be a smart bit of business from Arsenal.
Although the Spaniard is primarily a left-back, the defender has played at centre-back multiple times for the Gunners, with positional stats from Transfermarkt showing that the former Malaga defender has played 53 times at centre-half for the north London club.
Indeed, this versatility is one of Monreal’s most important attributes and this could be a reason as to why the Spaniard has remained a pivotal figure for the Gunners in his seven seasons at Arsenal, with Unai Emery being a fan of the player based on the defender’s 36 appearances last campaign.
As well as versatility, Monreal’s impact as a leader and senior figure at the club could be another reason as to why the defender has been kept on at Arsenal.
With two of Arsenal’s captains from last season in Aaron Ramsey and Petr Cech no longer at the Emirates, the Spanish defender is seemingly likely to step up into a more important role in-and-around the club given how long the left-back has been at the north London side for and how Emery handed him the armband on four occasions last season.
Monreal could be in line for a backup role next season if Arsenal do spend the reported £25 million it will take to bring Tierney to the club, but given the likely extra responsibility of being a senior figure of the squad, the Spaniard’s effect on the team could be greater than ever.
Arsenal fans, are the club right to keep Monreal? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!