Arsenal are reportedly set to let experienced left-back Nacho Monreal leave for Real Sociedad before the Monday deadline if the Spaniard asks Unai Emery to leave for his homeland this week.
33-year-old Monreal joined Arsenal back in 2013 and the ex-Malaga man is now down to his final year in his contract at the Emirates and will not be offered a new one, as reported by The Sun.
In the six years Monreal has been at Arsenal he has not always been the first choice left-back battling with Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Gibbs for the spot over the years, but when he has played, he has remained fairly consistent.
However, Monreal has made 251 appearances for the north London side throughout the years and has been at the club longer than any other first-team player, besides the current academy graduates such as Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Here are two reasons why Arsenal should keep hold of him.
SCARCE BACKUP OPTIONS
Although Kolasinac has played in the left-back spot for Arsenal a few times, his defensive abilities have been called into question by pundits such as BT Sport’s Martin Keown (via the Metro).
‘Kolasinac was a problem, looking at his defensive responsibilities,’ he said back in October 2018.
‘He got done on one ball, his body shape was all wrong, he wasn’t in line with the rest of his team. ‘He looked very vulnerable, he’s pointing [at the player he should be running with.’
Elsewhere, summer signing Kieran Tierney is still injured and not expected back until at least the end of next month, plus, considering the north London derby, a League Cup tie and a visit to Old Trafford comes before then, Emery cannot afford to let another left-back leave just yet.
HE HAS BEEN ONE OF ARSENAL’S MOST CONSISTENT PLAYERS
If there is anything Arsenal have lacked over the last couple of years it’s consistency at the back, and if there is anyone who has brought consistency in, it’s Nacho Monreal.
Although Kolasinac registered five assists last season as opposed to Monreal’s three, the Spaniard’s defensive capabilities have been more consistent and superior.
Monreal completed an averaged of 1.6 tackles, 1.4 interceptions, and 2.3 clearances per game (as per WhoScored.com), whist Kolasinac averaged 1.4 tackles per game, 0.8 interceptions and 1 clearance per game (as per WhoScored.com).
Furthermore, the 33-year-old played 69 times for Arsenal over the last two seasons [WhoScored.com], with only Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin playing more last season.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!