Nacho Monreal

A 26 year-old , left-back, Spanish International set to join Arsenal from Malaga for £8.5m.

Monreal is thought to have agreed a £55k per week deal.

A player who grew up playing full-back and has been moulded in that with his defensive duties a key part of his game, unlike many full-backs in La Liga who are more wing-backs or wingers converted to full-backs.

He comes with pace but also height, strength, and good old-fashioned defensive determination.

His stats are very good some of the notable ones are as follows:

Passing Accuracy – 85.3%

Passing Accuracy in opp. half – 79.9%

Duels Won – 57.9%

Aerial Duels Won – 65.6%

Nacho has attracted much attention, with Barcelona and Real Madrid having kept tabs on him too. He’s been a prominent part of a side that achieved Champions League football, and got them through to the knock-out rounds, winning their group.

However this does mean he will be ineligible to play in the Champions League for us, with Gibbs unlikely to be back for the first leg at home to Bayern Munich.

Furthermore, is he enough to solve our defensive frailties? Personally I feel our right-side of defensive is weaker than left, with Sagna and Mertesacker having a torrid time at the moment, while Vermaelen has stepped it up and Gibbs has done pretty well. Santos though, is completely unreliable and definitely a strong contender for one of Arsenal’s worst left-backs.

Wenger on Nacho Monreal – “We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us. We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we’ve been able to agree this move today. 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.”

Wenger Press Conference Post Liverpool: Full

“I  believe that it was first of all a great football game, where both teams went really for it and you can see it was top level overall of entertainment.

“We have tonight, honestly we could have lost the game, we could have won it as well by 3 or 4 goals difference and that shows that we have made many, many chances going forward. But we were nervous defensively and the 2 goals we have conceded today show that. We were nervous from the start, at the back, but overall we have shown great quality and tremendous spirit.”

“It was I think first of all, we were caught on counter attacks, we didn’t adjust very well, Liverpool were good going forward as well. But we didn’t give up big security tonight defensively I agree with that, but on the other hand when you see the spirit in the team and the quality going forward, you smell always that something can happen at any moment, you know when we combine like we do and in the second half we have put fantastic effort in. Overall we know what we can improve and we want to keep the positives that we’ve shown tonight in the game.”

Poor defensive starts, how can they be sorted? “Well I believe that recent history you speak about has an impact on the way we started the game tonight, and we have to get that out of our minds and focus on what we do well that is playing football, and focus on what we want to do in your position. All the rest I believe that the quality is there and we have to trust our quality and forget what happened in the past, because what happened in the past you could see tonight it played in our heads at the start of the game.”

Why are experienced defenders nervous? “Because they want to do well and they want to win games and these games have massive importance to them, and that’s why because they want to do so well.”

Positives from Theo’s performance, “I agree with you on that, he is absolutely moving forward, and his attitude and determination, you see he is a man now when he plays football, and takes responsibility and creates always danger, and he played against a top full back today and that’s where you see the quality in the big games like that.”

Can Theo do it at International level? “I think so, I think he’s ready.”

Gibbs’ injury: “It is a thigh strain and that rules him out for the next three weeks. It is a blow for us.”

Will you get another left-back in? “I will see overnight what I can do. But of course it is a big blow at the moment because Gibbs was a very important player for us as well going forward, and in the game we want to play it is a shame he is out for the next three weeks.”

Why is the second half performance much improved on the first half? “There is not always a rational explanation on that, I believe with the way we play football many times we have to wait until the other teams drop a little bit to get complete domination of the game, and when you look at all our games, even Man City in the second half we had a lot of the ball with 10 men. The problem for us basically is not bad to go 0-0 into half time.”

On the squad. “This squad is top, top-level. And I think we have to learn to trust these players again and keep facing them. We have signed a bunch of young players, young English players, who have committed to the club for the next 4/5 years. I think there’s a lot to come out of this team but we have to trust them and keep facing them.”

It’s the defensive side that needs improving. “We will.”

Does Wenger expect any transfers on deadline day? “I cannot promise you that, we work on it, we asked an official extension of the transfer window for one week, maybe we’ll be capable to do that.

“Yeah [David Villa negotiations/deal is completely dead].”

On the players response to the draw: “They are frustrated because we haven’t won the game, but somewhere they can feel they have given everything so there’s a certain sense of feeling they’ve done their job. But you want to win football games, so of course they are frustrated.”