Nacho Monreal - The stats which show Arsenal have bought a star

Arsenal's backs to the wall win against Sunderland at the weekend was a real team effort, but Nacho Monreal stood out.

Kieran Gibbs getting injured when he did forced Arsene Wenger to make a big decision, and it is already looking to be reaping rewards.

Wenger went out on deadline day and spent £8.3 million on Nacho Monreal to fill the left-back spot.

With Andre Santos to be loaned to Gremio, it's a sign that Arsenal have full confidence in their new man. Looking at the results it's easy to see why.

Straight off the bat, Monreal has contributed in two 1-0 wins. That's two clean sheets. Sure it was 'just' Stoke and Sunderland, but could you have said the Gunners would have done the same with Santos in the side?

It's crystal clear Monreal has steadied the ship, and the win at Sunderland was a real backs-to-the-wall job, with every Arsenal player digging in to grind out the three points.

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Time will tell how crucial the win proves to be, and if it is, the Spaniard can certainly say he played a part.

Here are the stats from the match which show Arsenal have solved their 'issue' at left-back.

* 2: Monreal made two key passes - leading to goalscoring opportunities, as many as Theo Walcott, and only one less than team leading Jack Wilshere.

* 3: Monreal's three interceptions were the highest of any other Arsenal player, except for Mikel Arteta (4)

* 4: Monreal's four tackles were more than any other Arsenal player, save for Aaron Ramsey (6).

* 61: Monreal touched the ball more than any other Arsenal defender, 61 times.

* 96: Monreal's pass completion accuracy was as you would expect from a Spain international, and was the highest of any player on the pitch.

Monreal clearly is not afraid to get stuck in, and is having no problem adapting to the physical side of the Premier League. He could have asked for no tougher introduction than a week ago against Stoke. All the early signs are that Arsenal have bought a gem, who could become a real leader by example at the back, and a danger going forward.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out Andre!

What do you think, have Arsenal solved the left-back issue? Will Gibbs get back into the team ?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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