Wenger: There are many layers to my Nacho


Arsene Wenger has promised that Nacho Monreal will prove himself a very useful addition to the Arsenal squad having done well to survive a baptism of fire against two of the Premier League’s most physical clubs.

Dropped into the deep end with a debut against Stoke City, followed by a trip to Sunderland a home game against Aston Villa, the Spanish international has cut a solid presence so far with the Gunners securing three hard fought victories and keeping a couple of clean sheets.

Reflecting on the 27-year-old’s bedding in period, Wenger played up his new man’s defensive and offensive qualities.

“The first thing you want from your defenders is to defend well, so we cannot reproach him for that,” the boss told the Arsenal Magazine.

“You will see the other aspects of his game more when his confidence has settled.

“There is no better culture shock than to play against Stoke and Sunderland.

“Monreal is good in the air for a guy of his size, has a quick leap and has looked good. He is very strong in other areas too, his crosses for example, and his forward play you will see a bit later.

“It happened with Kieran Gibbs too, the more confident he became the more efficient he was going forward. It can take a bit of time to express that side.

“There is no better culture shock than to play against Stoke and Sunderland.

“He has not said a word to me about it, but he has spoken with the other players and he has seen all about the passion and commitment of the English game. You can say Nacho Monreal passed that test.”

It remains to be seen who will be Arsene Wenger’s first choice left-back when Kieran Gibbs returns to full fitness. The Academy product was enjoying his best season to date at the Emirates only for another injury to force him off in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool.

As things stand the Spaniard has a chance to consolidate his credentials in England and given neither Andre Santos nor Thomas Vermaelen have proved themselves capable of filling the left-back slot he’s got the full backing of the supporters. It’s a shame he’s ineligible for the Champions League as he was sorely missed in the 3-1 spanking at the hands of Bayern in the first-leg.

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