Ponder on the word ‘consistency’, only one man would come to your mind – Nacho Monreal. The Spaniard has entered the final year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium.
The 33-year-old has established himself as Arsenal‘s first choice left back despite competition from Kieran Gibbs and Sead Kolasinac in the last 6 years. With his impressive defensive display and contribution of 5 goals last season, Monreal was certainly the stand out defender. Making it to the squad for the World cup with competition against the likes of Marcos Alonso just defines his quality.
When asked about a contract renewal, the Spaniard replied:
“At the moment we are talking with the club.
“I’ve always said I’m really happy, I feel very happy playing for Arsenal. I came 6 years ago. I have a good relationship with them.
“We are in contact in any moment so don’t worry about that. I am happy here.”
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) September 12, 2018
The fullback is happy to play for the North London outfit as much as club are content of having him. Unai Emery, whose roots are Spanish, would work perfectly with the Spaniard and will have no problem in explaining his tactics. ‘Contact in any moment’ is a positive sign for the Emirates outfit. It signifies that Monreal is close to signing a new contract.
Unai Emery: “I knew Nacho Monreal in Spain when he was playing in Osasuna & in Malaga. After six years here, I came & I know him as a new Nacho Monreal. After two weeks, after two months & now, I can say I’m very happy with him.” #afc pic.twitter.com/r2rfaHm6wp
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 13, 2018
He has started the last 3 games under Emery. It was his goal that brought his side level against West Ham as the red and whites defeated the Hammers 3-1. The Spanish international turns 33 in February but isn’t considering hanging up his boots.
“My idea is to play football until my body says ‘Nacho, so sorry but that is the end’. But I hope that is far away.”
The back 4 has been a problem for long. Laurent Koscielny is out injured, Sokratis Papastathopoulos is new to the league, Shkodran Mustafi doesn’t match the pace of the fierce strikers of the Premier League, Hector Bellerin doesn’t track back well enough etc.
However, Monreal is the silver lining in the cloud, he is well balanced in all aspects and is hence significant to the team. The players should see him as an example and learn from him. He doesn’t specialize in a particular area but contributes to the team effectively.
His contract should be renewed as soon as possible. Barcelona are reportedly interested in the left-back on a free transfer this summer as a cover for left-back Jordi Alba.
With over 100 appearances in his last 3 years, it is safe to say that Nacho Monreal is an epitome of ‘Consistency’.