Arsenal were the proponents of late transfer deadline day drama when fans got their wish of a new left-back arriving at the club after the arrival of Nacho Monreal. The 26-year-old signed a long-term deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £10 million.
Following the injury to Kieran Gibbs and the disastrous from of Andre Santos a left-back was high on the priority list for many a Gunner and Arsene Wenger has done some reluctant dealing; reportedly bringing forward a deal that was scheduled for the summer.
So what can we tell you about Arsenal’s newest recruit?
1. Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Monreal Eraso was born in Pamplona on the 26th February 1986.
2. He started his career at hometown Basque club Osasuna; making his debut in October 2006 aged 19.
3. He formed a deadly full-back combination with current Chelsea right-back Cesar Azpilicueta during his time at the club; a player he has grown up with.
4. He was one of the first signings of Malaga’s faltering financial revolution in 2011 for €6 million.
5. Interestingly he was one of the first players that earmarked the financial problems at Malaga after the club missed an instalment payment to Osasuna last summer. Such financial irregularities allowed Arsenal to also sign Santi Cazorla on the (relatively) cheap.
6. It is believed that Monreal was close friends with Cazorla at Arsenal. The pair were often used as spokesmen and role-models at charity and PR events.
7. He has previously been linked with the likes of Benfica, Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Real Madrid.
8. He featured for Spanish youth teams including the under-21’s at the European Championships in 2009. He was in the same squad as Azpilicueta, Swansea defender Chico Flores, QPR midfielder Esteban Granero and Manchester City midfielder Javi Garcia; so he shouldn’t be short of friends in Blighty.
9. He has since gone on to make seven caps for the Spanish national team after making his debut in 2009. Despite this he did not feature in either of Spain’s 2010 World Cup win or last summer’s European Championship triumph.
10. Arsenal will still have to sweat on the injury to Kieran Gibbs in regards to the Champions League; as Monreal is cup-tied having featured for Malaga in the Group Stages.
Do you think Monreal can be a success at The Emirates?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald