Arsenal FC’S Nacho Monreal has signed a new long term contract with the club which effectively pledges the rest of his playing career to the club. Although the length of the agreement has not been specified, with Monreal at the prime age of 29 and with his current relationship at the club, you can assume that Arsenal will have him for the remainder of his useful years.
Talking about the deal, Monreal said: “I met the boss (Arsene Wenger) three years ago and I have a really good relationship with him and I’m really happy with him. For these reasons I extended my contract.”
Still, Monreal is probably one of the most underrated players in the Barclays Premier League right now when the truth is he is actually the best in his position on form. Here are five reasons Nacho Monreal is the best left back in the country:
1. From zero to hero
During the world famous ‘Arsenal central defender crisis of 2014′ Arsene Wenger kept asking Nacho to fill in as a centre back. The slim looking Spanish international left back, who hadn’t even acclimated to English football, reluctantly obliged because, well, he had no other option but to. Unsurprisingly Arsenal were porous during this period and looked far from stable. Monreal, though no real fault of his own, took a lot of flack from supporters who were not only questioning him as a defender, but a player altogether. However, those with keen eyes would have seen a player giving his best.
When Arsenal’s central defensive issues improved he was asked to play left back to cover the often injured Kieran Gibbs, only to prove that he was better than him. Every game he is seen to give 100% and has added a defensive stability. Arsenal’s left side of their defence is now their strongest and the partnership he has with talisman Alexis Sanchez is valuable and affective. He can defend, he can attack, he can run with the ball, he can read the game, he can pass, he can cross and he hasn’t a decent touch. Nobody has a bad word to say about him in the stadium and he is now one of the first players on the team sheet.
2. Ever present
You may be surprised to learn that Nacho has made 113 appearances for the north London side. He has also played in all 22 Premier League games this season, as Arsenal sit at the top of table. That is some doing after joining as, what most fans assumed, a back up left back to then automatic first team starter Gibbs.
3. Consistent Performer
Ask any Arsenal fan and they will tell you that Monreal gives a steady 8/10 every match. He’s tenacious, courageous, tough, fast and he reads the game very well. He’s even outshone the likes of Laurent Koscielny because he doesn’t make mistakes or never has an off day, whilst having impeccable discipline. He’s a willing runner who can give it in attack but only once he secure the defensive side of his game. He’s a true professional.
Talking about the contract extension, Arsene Wenger said this: “He is a very important player at the club because he can play left-back and centre-back. He has the consistency in his performances that is requested at the top level.”
4. He looks like Peter Crouch, and everyone loves peter Crouch, right?
When he joined Arsenal and made his first appearance at the Emirates there were instant comparisons to Peter Crouch in terms of look. They both share that ‘skinny gaunt face with the toothy grin look’. Having a doppleganger that is one of the most likeable and prolific England strikers of this generation is not the worst thing. I’ve met Crouch in Amy Winhouse’s favourite pub the Hawley Arms whilst he was chilling with Miles Kane, he’s sound as a pound. Also he hasn’t done bad has he? Just take a look at his wife Abbey Clancy. Monreal and Crouch may have been separated at birth they seem to share the same luck.
5. He’s a trickster
Finally I leave you with a cheeky moment from the man with a toothy grin that proves he’s a Harlem Globetrotter of left backs. Watch as he flicks an orange into the orange container of his fridge. Man’s got skills and a very healthy looking fridge!