Arsene Wenger signed a plethora of average talent throughout his time at Arsenal, and at the time, Nacho Monreal looked to be another example of that.
The Spaniard, who was signed back in January 2013, was brought in for £9 million (according to Transfer Markt), and was largely viewed as a player that would add further depth to a defence that wasn’t looking particularly great in the preceding months.
Thereafter, he did make an impact, albeit a mixed one, though he didn’t exactly light up any fires in north London.
However, whilst the Spaniard has never been the sort of player to deliver outstanding performances every week, what he has done is build up a reputation for consistency, and he’s now emerged as perhaps Arsenal’s most reliable player.
Monreal, now 32-years-old, has played pretty regularly over the last few years, and more often than not, he’s been exactly what the Gunners have needed.
In what has become a rare trait in the modern game, Monreal is a player that will continually deliver 7/10 performances every single week, and that’s exactly what you want from a defender. Whilst Hector Bellerin, for example, has won Arsenal more games over the years, he’s also cost the Gunners valuable goals – whilst Monreal has never been a player to let his consistency slip. Regardless of whether he’s playing Huddersfield or Bayern Munich, Monreal has earned a reputation for being a fantastic defender; and with good reason.
He’s a fantastic tackler, his positioning is exquisite, he’s got good pace, and he’s even a threat going forwad. In truth, there’s nothing that Monreal can’t do – and that’s a testament to his talent.
Significantly, too, his versatility has been on display over the last year or so. Whether he’s been deployed at left-back or a centre-back, the Spaniard has continued to show off his class, and again, whilst he’s never going to make headlines; that’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, for a defender of his type, that’s a very good thing.
When he moved to Arsenal, not much was expected. He wasn’t a particularly well-recognised player, and he didn’t look to be the man to transform Arsenal’s fortunes. However, in the years since, he’s been a loyal and reliable member of the Arsenal squad – and there’s certainly a case for him being one of Arsene Wenger’s better signings at the Emirates.