Arsenal star Nacho Monreal dropped from Spain squad - Move to Emirates a mistake?

Arsenal's Nacho Monreal has failed to make Spain's preliminary World Cup squad, with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta's emergence the final blow for his chances.

It's almost 18 months since Nacho Monreal signed for Arsenal, a move he had hoped would take his career to the next level.

After a promising few months at the end of last season, this campaign has been a disappointing one for the Spaniard, and it has not gone unnoticed.

The 28-year-old has 16 senior caps for Spain, the last coming back in a friendly in November.

Monreal made his Spain debut in 2009 and featured at the Confederations Cup last summer. 

When he arrived at Arsenal he was Spain's second choice left-back behind Jordi Alba, starting against France last March in World Cup qualification, and providing the game-winning assist in the vital 1-0 away win in Paris.

But his difficult season at Arsenal, which has seen him outplayed by rival Kieran Gibbs, has seen him slip down the pecking order in the Spanish squad.

Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta featured in Spain's last international friendly, and has been named in the World Cup squad in Monreal's place by Vicente del Bosque, ending the Arsenal man's hopes.

Moving to Arsenal should have helped him kick on, but it has done just the opposite.

Despite being fully fit this season he could only make 13 starts, and in games where he did feature, such as the loss at Goodison Park to Everton, he disappointed and was one of the Gunners' weakest players.

While the former Malaga man may end the week as an FA Cup winner, he is likely to be watching on from the bench.

He may well wonder in light of his international disappointment whether moving to Arsenal was in retrospect the wrong move for his career after all.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch