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Nacho, Nacho Man

Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Malaga left back Nacho Monreal on a long term deal for an undisclosed fee. It is thought that a deal had been in place for Monreal to join Arsenal in the summer, but Kieran Gibbs' injury last night saw the deal brought forward with Andre Santos suffering for form.

Monreal had previously played for Osasuna and has been capped 9 times by Spain. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said: 'We are delighted that Nacho Monreal has agreed to join us. 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."

Monreal is Arsenal's only signing of the January window, though Benik Afobe has returned from his loan spell at Bolton Wanderers.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday January 31 2013

Time: 11:09PM

Your Comments

We're doing alright upfront these days it is the defending that's letting us down. So this is a step in the right direction. He comes with a good reputation at least.
Rocky7
Great news. Welcome to the greatest club in the world, Nacho.
FunGunner
To be honest, I really don't think our defending is a personnel issue. We have good defenders, I think it's deeper than that. Not knocking what looks to be a good buy, but basically, Walcott, Podolski and Giroud all start, who's your striker on the bench? That front 3 is beginning to click now I feel, but there's no depth. Like, literally, none.
Little Dutch
I am laughing at Odemwingie. How embarrassing.
FunGunner
@LD - spot on about the defending.
FunGunner
Shame about Odemwingie. Bad advisers, clearly. He must have been carried away by Harry's charms. It is obvious someone asked him over, or he would be stupid to go without clearance and invitation.
Naijagunner
Maybe the defenders are good on an individual basis but as a unit there's definately something wrong. We're scoring goals by the bucketful right now, ok if there's an injury then we could be in trouble, but defensively we're already in trouble. Fix the defensive issues and then worry about attacking cover.
Rocky7
How can Odemwingie go back to the dressing room at Brom? He's shafted himself.
Wyn Mills
So Odemwingie wanted to double his wages and just hopped in his car, got on the motorway, stopped for an interview on the way and simply imagined everything would simply work out? Amazing!
Professor Calculus
It sounds like Wenger made a final pitch for Villa and Jovetic, but then decided to hold off until summer. It might be too late by then, unless the plan is to play the Ox as an emergency striker.
Wyn Mills
We definitely needed a better option at left back than Santos so this was the first priority in my opinion especially with Gibbs injured for 3 weeks. Also need another centre back I think as Squillachi is hopeless and we will be in trouble if we get injuries in that position. Not worried about our options upfront so much...Walcott, Giroud, Podolski, Gervinho, Cazorla, Ox can all play part of the front 3 if required. Would have been nice to get another striker but not something we desperately need. I think we're ok for numbers in midfield as well.
bowiecokemirror
There's no way Odemwingie is stupid enough to drive up to London without either being advised badly by his agent or Bagpuss. He is still pretty stupid to listen to that advice so I my sympathy for him is still limited.
bowiecokemirror
Good business today. Shows forward planning as well. @ Wyn Mills - he didn't decide to hold off Villa, Villa was not for sale in January.
FunGunner
we all no we will ***** it up again and u will get 4th
123spurs
We have ZERO , I repeat ZERO cover offensively. 1 injury to either Theo or Giroud and we can kiss 4th spot goodbye. Not that its gonig to be easy anyways.
Sajit
The question is whether we should be playing Walcott, Giroud and Podolski in all games. We score more goals with them all playing but we concede quite a few too. It works in some games but not quite so well against better opposition. We have Gervinho, and Ox is listed as a striker on the official site so presumably they see him filling one of those roles. But in any event we have other players who can fill either of the flank positions in place of Walcott or Poldolski while those players plus Gervinho are cover for the central position. At the same time playing any two instead of three of Giroud, Walcott, Poldolski, Gervinho wouldn't be that much of a sacrifice and in many games may well be the better option. It seems to me that part of our defensive problem is that we don't provide enough midfield cover and in part that's because we play with three strikers.
Amos.
Monreal seems like a good buy. The transaction has a similar feel to the season we sold Henry and bought Sagna. Not everyone's immediate idea of meeting the teams needs but it proved so. Let's hope Nacho has a similar impact.
Amos.
Agree with LD. We are light up front irrespective of who is listed as a 'striker'. The defensive issues seem psychological, to me - fragile confidence - as well as weak mid field cover. The solution is not in the transfer market - although Nacho might be a better option than Santos, the larger issues still need fixing.
prits
In numbers I think we're better served for forwards than some others. Those with more pressing needs than ours have struggled to find decent forwards in this window. I think Wenger has said maybe another as Gervinho is away but logically we've some different permutations for the wide positions and four players who could and have played the central forward position.
Amos.
Again, we are light up front, but it's not a problem right now. While I am a big advocate for the old phrase "the best time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining" what's the point in fixing the roof if the walls are falling down? If the fragile confidence is a problem for the defence then get some players in who aren't such emotional weaklings. If it's a problem with motivation .... then we're in big trouble.
Rocky7
@ Amos, I was thinking exactly that last night. Previously we've had someone like Rosicky or Nasri taking up one of the forward spots. Our current situation reminds me of something AW said a couple of years ago - that he couldn't play AA and Walcott in the same side because it would lack offensive balance. Maybe he feels that Podolski in particular is defensively aware? Or maybe he is trying to get around that problem in other ways, which aren't working. @ Rocky7, bit harsh to call them emotional weaklings. They're up for it - they're trying *too* hard to win the trophies, to show the fans they are good enough etc...that's where the mistakes are coming from. We shouldn't let silly goals in but our status as comeback kings shows we don't lack courage and character to go with the talent.
FunGunner
Here's Nacho in the colours. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/nacho-monreal-in-arsenal-colours-pictures
Wyn Mills
How many of our players are off the books this summer?
Arseniger
 

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