‘We signed Monreal because…’

Arsene Wenger has confirmed why he and Arsenal made a late move to sign Malaga’s international full-back Nacho Monreal.

The 26-year-old moved for an initial €12m fee on the final day of the January transfer window, following Santi Cazorla’s summer route from the Costa del Sol to north London.

“Our scouts have followed his progress for a while and of course we had a blow with the [Kieran] Gibbs injury, which is a bit longer than expected,” Wenger told reporters today

“We expected [him to be out for] two to three weeks, but it will be four to six, so we were in a position where we had to make a quick decision. That explains our buy.

“We bought Monreal as a left back but he can play as well as a left-sided midfielder. We bought him as well because we believe he can integrate into our style of play and adapt very quickly to that.

“He has the characteristics to play our game because he is very mobile, has a good left foot and is very good in combination play. That is vital in our style of play.”

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