Nacho Monreal: Key man if Arsenal are to win the Premier League

Nacho Monreal may be behind Kieran Gibbs in the pecking order at Arsenal, but he represents everything about Arsenal's Premier League title chances.

Nacho Monreal signed for Arsenal on January deadline day, and immediately settled into life at the Emirates.

His arrival was a desperately needed one, for it allowed Arsene Wenger to offload the woeful Andre Santos and provide a more solid defence.

Kieran Gibbs has since returned from injury and overtaken Monreal in the race for a first team spot, which alone says everything about the quality of the underrated English left-back.

Monreal is even yet to start a single Premier League or Champions League game this season, making 10 appearances off the bench, the longest of which being just an 18 minute spell.

He has at least made two Capital One Cup starts, but it was not what he had in mind when the joined the Gunners, aiming to get a leg up in the race for Spain's international first team.

Even so Monreal is evidently not one to complain and appears fully committed to the Arsenal cause, seemingly knowledgeable his time will come. 

At this point the 27-year-old embodies everything positive about Arsene Wenger's latest set of title challengers, representing a real level of quality in depth.

Lack of support in the striking position has been well documented, and will be addressed in January, but elsewhere in the squad Arsenal have excellent cover and a multitude of options.

Monreal is exactly that. Forget selling him on because he hasn't been featuring, he is going to be needed at a crucial juncture of the season.

Gibbs sadly has an unlucky history of injuries, and going a full season without adequate cover for him would be a real risk, as Arsenal found out last season.

Monreal is a full Spanish international and being able to call on him in reserve shows just how strong this current Arsenal side are. 

If Arsenal do go onto win the league, players like Nacho Monreal, Tomas Rosicky, and even captain Thomas Vermaelen, who can be called upon when there are injuries or even as a result of squad rotation, are going to be essential to achieving that success.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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