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Is Monreal really leaving? A lack of alternatives could be worrying.

By Roger Miller

Arsenal could be shorn of the services of fan favourite Nacho Monreal after he was heavily linked with a move back to Spain. The left-back was one of the few Gunners stars to emerge with any credit from a dismal 2017/18 campaign as he impressed with some solid displays.

He has been a strong defensive pillar for Arsenal over the last few years and many supporters would be sad to see him go. But he is a serious target for La Liga side Real Sociedad and, at the age of 32, he could be tempted by the prospect of a return to his homeland.

The Basque club have just sold Alvaro Odriozola to Real Madrid and they see Monreal as an ideal replacement. They have sounded out his representatives and they are eager to complete a deal for him before their pre-season friendlies. But Arsenal should think long and hard before contemplating any such deal. After making several key signings to bolster weak areas of the team, losing Monreal would represent a backwards step as they bid to get ready for the 2018/19 campaign.

The only alternative for the left-back role is Sead Kolasinac, a player who looked great going forwards last season but struggled defensively. Arsene Wenger was clearly not enamoured with the Bosnian, leaving him on the bench for the vast majority of the campaign. Monreal looked a lot more solid at the back, and he also popped up with several vital goals at the other end of the pitch. Any fee received for him now would be pretty negligible, and securing a replacement could be costly, so it might be better to keep hold of him for another year and then address the left-back position in 2019.

Arsenal have already allowed Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla to leave on free transfers, and they have not brought in any money yet during this transfer window. Unai Emery clearly wants to overhaul the playing squad, but his hands are tied somewhat after the Gunners forked out for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the last two transfer windows. The club, led by head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, have conducted some impressive business thus far, securing the services of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Stephan Lichsteiner, Bernd Leno and Lucas Torreira, but they have not exactly broken the bank.

If they are selling anyone, it would make more sense to choose someone in a position where they are overstocked and they can actually recoup a significant amount of cash to reinvest on new players. Shkodran Mustafi, Alex Iwobi, Danny Welbeck, Calum Chambers, Lucas Perez and Mohamed Elneny look like better candidates for the axe than Monreal.

A Ladbrokes review will lead you to some of the best odds on the market from a reputable bookmaker, and you will see that Arsenal are 25/1 to win the Premiership next season. That leaves them well behind Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham in the betting. But they could surprise a few people. A new coach should bring fresh dynamism and desire to proceedings, and they have addressed several glaring issues in the squad. The players they have recruited should make them tougher, stronger in the tackle, mentally sturdier and more tactically disciplined. Monreal could fit nicely into that for another year. He reads the game well and he still has plenty of stamina to get up and down the left touchline. He can also cover at centre back and at the very least he is a useful squad player, so it would be reckless to sell him now, when funds are short and an obvious replacement is not apparent.

4 comments to Is Monreal really leaving? A lack of alternatives could be worrying.

  • Mark Mywurdz

    Monreal suffered for not having any defensive cover in front of him nor besides him, He often ended up, looking at fault.
    Makes you wonder why Wenger bought Kolasinac though, doesn’t it? Highly rated in Germany, he then disappeared without trace. He always came across as someone, who was talented and strong enough, but wasn’t quite sure what he should be doing. A complaint you could level at a few players in that team. I’ll be interested to see if Emery can install a bit of organisation. Either left back are potentially good enough.

  • Jammy

    “A Ladbrokes review will lead you to some of the best odds on the market from a reputable bookmaker, and you will see that Arsenal are 25/1 to win the Premiership next season. That leaves them well behind Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and Tottenham in the betting. But they could surprise a few people. A new coach should bring fresh dynamism and desire to proceedings, and they have addressed several glaring issues in the squad. The players they have recruited should make them tougher, stronger in the tackle, mentally sturdier and more tactically disciplined. Monreal could fit nicely into that for another year. He reads the game well and he still has plenty of stamina to get up and down the left touchline. He can also cover at centre back and at the very least he is a useful squad player, so it would be reckless to sell him now, when funds are short and an obvious replacement is not apparent.”

    Utterly shameless. I like that you’ve actually tried to tie it into an article this time, very impressive work.

    No-one ever answers this question, but how much does Untold get paid to post advertisements in the guise of genuine articles like this? Real Sociedad have already pulled out of the transfer, because clearly Arsenal don’t want to sell Monreal, so was the entire intent of this article just to post that advert at the bottom?

  • Mark Mywurdz

    Quite agree Jammy,

    It looks that way doesn’t it.

    Encouraging people to gamble is no different from offering them a bag of cocaine. It’s pertinent that Paul Merson openly said that gambling was a far more difficult addiction to break than drugs. It ruins lives and is at epidemic levels amongst kids who use the internet. This website purports to be the responsible, intelligent side of Arsenal fandom and grabs the moral high ground at every available opportunity. It endlessly decries the press and other bloggers for creating click bait out of non stories to earn money, and yet either allows or encourages this. Laughable.

  • omgarsenal

    Don’t shoot the messenger Mark and Jammy. This is the first (and I hope the last time) Roger Miller will contributed anything to UA. Tony & Walter never use their writers to push a gambling site, they al;rwady have legitimate advertisers, so cool your jets and your moral outrage and remember what UA is and always will be.