Nacho Monreal isn’t a natural centre-back, but the statistics show why he’s doing such a good job at the back for Arsenal in the last 18 months.
When you look at Nacho Monreal, it’s not immediately obvious that he’d make a good centre-back.
Neither the tallest or the strongest defender around, many would think he would struggle at the heart of the backline. However, his stats this season reveal just how well he’s doing.
No player in the Premier League has made more interceptions than he has. His 45 steals this season show he’s excellent at reading the game and stepping in to halt opposition attacks.
Unsurprisingly, Monreal isn’t the strongest in the air given his stature. But he still wins more than half of his aerial duels per game (53%) in the Premier League, perhaps justifying why Arsene Wenger is so comfortable with him in the middle.
In addition, Monreal makes a high number of tackles per game (2.3), and is one of the tidiest ball-players at the club, completing over 90% of his passes per game – making the eighth-most passes per game.
The switch from full-back to centre-back has clearly worked out for him. Long may his impressive performances continue.