Arsenal manager Unai Emery has expressed his intention to extend the stay of Nacho Monreal after his bright start to the ongoing season. The Spaniard missed the opening game of the Premier League campaign with a minor knee problem but he has featured in the three matches which have followed, contributing a goal in the process.
Speaking in the news conference ahead of the Newcastle United game, Emery indicated that he has known Monreal since his time with Osasuna and Malaga and he has been impressed by what he has seen of the left-back during the current campaign.
The former Paris Saint-Germain boss added that it is ‘very important’ for the club to prolong the defender’s stay and remained optimistic that his compatriot will pen an extension beyond the summer of 2019.
Monreal’s future first came under consideration during the 2017 summer transfer window after Sead Kolasinac was signed on a free transfer to provide competition to the Spaniard and Kieran Gibbs.
However, with Gibbs deciding to pursue a fresh challenge with West Bromwich Albion, Monreal had a straight tussle with Kolasinac for the left-back position and he managed to win over the role with ease with the Bosnian struggling to adapt to the new league.
Once more this summer, it appeared that Kolasinac or Ainsley Maitland-Niles (makeshift role) may take their chances at left-back in Monreal’s expense but things have paved differently with the duo sustaining long-term injuries early on.
As such, Monreal has been able to cement his position on the left side of the backline and he more or less deserves to make the first XI, given he has improved on his contribution in the attack front over the past year.
The Spaniard enjoyed his best-scoring campaign last term with six goals – more than he managed in his previous four-and-a-half seasons. He has continued in the same vein of form this term having already found the scoresheet once in three appearances.
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