by Nia Griffiths
Nacho Monreal is eager to extend his contract with the Gunners but still believes we need to sign ‘one or two‘ key players this summer.
The last season has probably been a bit of a whirlwind for Nacho Monreal.
After being sat on the bench consistently behind Kieran Gibbs since we signed him in January 2013, the left-back probably didn’t see any way of breaking into the first team. However, due to an injury to Gibbs, the Spaniard got his time to shine and actually replaced Gibbs as our starting left-back.
This season, he appeared 39 times including the Community Shield and even scored an all important goal at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.
With only one year left on the 29-year-old’s contract, it’s fair to start asking questions about the defender’s future at the club.
Speaking to Sport360 at Arsenal Soccer School Dubai, he made it very clear he had no intention of leaving.
He said, “I would like to stay. If the boss [Arsene Wenger] wants me to stay, I will do as I am very happy. I only have one more year left on my contract. I am really happy and would like to stay at Arsenal. I am in contact with the club. My main intention is to stay at Arsenal, I hope I can extend my contract.”
However, despite praising his current team after their recent FA Cup win at the weekend, he’s still convinced we need to sign a couple more players to really challenge for the Premier League next season.
“We are a good team, with amazing players at this moment. If we want to fight to win the Premier League this summer, hopefully the club will bring in one or two top players. We will be stronger and have more chance to fight for the Premier League.
“We are very happy to win the FA Cup. I would like next year to fight for things, like the Premier League and Champions League. We know this competition is really difficult, with a lot of good teams.”
The left-back also touched on Wenger’s decision to drop Gibbs to the bench – a choice that a year ago, many Gooners would’ve being concerned by.
“Kieran is an amazing player. I can imagine it is really difficult for the boss to choose between Kieran and me. Obviously in football, only 11 players can start the game. The boss can choose between him or me. I think this is a good thing for the team.
“I have to give my best every day in training, or I wouldn’t play. I think in this position, we are lucky as we have two good players. I have played a lot of games this season, I would like to continue.”
I can’t praise Monreal enough season. Aside from the likes of Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla, I believe he’s our most improved player and it shows Wenger’s clear ability to pick a footballer from potential alone.
If competition for first team positions is the most we have to worry about right now, I’d say we’re in a pretty good situation.