30
Oct

Why Nacho Monreal was named Arsenal’s Player of the Month


Written by Ademola Ogunbiyi

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Nacho Monreal was crowned Arsenal’s Player of the Month for September.

Over 20,000 cast their vote with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Sead Kolasinac all included on the list.

However, it was Arsenal’s reliable left-back who won the poll ahead of summer signings Kolasinac and third placed Lacazette, who are all included in toponlinebookies.com list to either score or assist against Manchester City on Sunday.

The Spain international was part of a defence which kept clean sheets against Bournemouth, Chelsea and West Brom.

The 31-year-old established himself as the club’s first choice left-back when he first arrived and his solid performances drew the attention of La Liga side Athletic Bilbao over the summer.

Monreal, who has long been linked with Bilbao because of his Basque roots, followed the Spanish side on Twitter and sparked fresh rumours that he could be about to leave Emirates Stadium.

Signed from Malaga in 2013, the left-back made 39 appearances for the Gunners last season and after being made aware of interest from other clubs, Arsenal have now activated an option in Monreal’s contract – which expires this summer – to extend his deal by 12 months.

Monreal, who had not scored a league goal for Arsene Wenger’s side since finding the net against Swansea during his first year in England back 2013, tweeted ahead of the recent match against Brighton:‘Getting my shooting boots ready! #pumaONE!’

Wenger believes his team have turned a corner after their 4-0 thumping away at Liverpool.

“It feels like a different team. You see the way we play football. You need a united group to do that,” the Frenchman said before the game.

“I put it down to the fact that we realised what we produced was not good enough. We stayed united and responded on the pitch. ‘Mentally I am very fresh. I love football and the way we want to play football so I am always motivated by that.”

Data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal that reliable Monreal is leading the Premier League when it comes to interceptions this season, managing 22 – an average of just over three per game.

Monreal is right up there when it comes to passing accuracy in the opposition half. In other words, he isn’t just giving the ball away when he looks to play it with attacking intent. He is averaging a success rate of 91% in such circumstances, lower only than Manchester City’s John Stones (94%)


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