Friday, 1 February 2013

Wenger signs Monreal but misses out on Villa for now

Morning Gooners.

Well that was a surprise... Arsene Wenger getting the cheque book out, dusting it down and spending £8m on a Spanish international. But weren't we all told he was too stubborn and set in his ways to go out and buy a player that we needed?

I'll be honest, 24 hours ago I didn't think we'd sign anyone. I thought if we did we'd sign a striker and that would have been David Villa if we could have negotiated the price down with Barcelona. I expected us to muddle through the next three weeks with Andre Santos or Thomas Vermaelen at left back.

So it was a surprise when I heard about the move for 26-year-old Nacho Monreal. The manager obviously thought about the situation overnight and then checked out the latest scouting reports on the left backs we've been watching.

It's not a surprise it's Malaga we've raided for another player. Wenger does like to spend money at clubs who've got themselves into trouble and he normally drives a very good deal. Last summer it was Cazorla.


Wenger said:
"We have been monitoring him for some time now and are really pleased that we’ve been able to agree this move today.  
"Monreal is a strong left-sided defender with good experience at both club and international level.  
"He is a technically gifted player, a good crosser in the final third and strong in the air.  
"Monreal will add quality to our squad and of course, to our defensive unit. We all look forward to him playing for us."
From the comparison OPTA have made between Monreal and Gibbs, the Spaniard is a tough tackling defender who has a high success rate of winning the ball.

I can't see him being thrown straight into the starting line up this weekend against Stoke. He'll only have one  chance to train with his team mates and that would be this morning. And who knows whether he's brought anything more than an overnight bag with him!

I'm pleased we've signed a player we need in the short term. I just wish the manager had signed the striker I feel we need to really cement a place in the top four at the end of the season.

It will be interesting to hear what the manager has to say about the deal for Villla when he faces the media later this morning.

That's it for today. Back with more tomorrow.


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