Nacho Monreal wants to keep playing until he’s in his 40s, and thinks his retirement is still far away at the moment.
Unai Emery spoke to the press this week about his desire to extend Monreal’s current contract with the club, which expires at the end of the season. The Spaniard is now 32 years old, so he’s unlikely to get a particularly long-term extension in North London.
However, the player himself still thinks he has plenty of playing time ahead of him.
“That is my idea, that is what I want,” Monreal said, when asked if he could follow the examples of players like Ryan Giggs and Javier Zanetti playing past the age of 40. “We will see what happens but I feel good.
“My idea is to play football until my body says ‘Nacho, so sorry but that’s the end’. But I think it is far away. I hope so. You never know because your body, sometimes you start with some problems, some injuries and you can’t continue giving 100 per cent.
“But at the moment I feel good so I am not thinking of my retirement.”
Hopefully Monreal is right, and he can keep playing for the foreseeable future. The left-back was one of Arsenal’s key players last season, finishing a close second for the club’s Player of the Season award, and scoring a number of important goals for the team throughout the campaign.
The Gunners also don’t really have any other options, for now at least. Kolasinac’s problems with injuries are leaving him on the sidelines a bit too often, and Maitland-Niles is really better off staying in central midfield.
The side are relying on Monreal, and could well end up in the same position again in the future if they don’t invest in the market. A new contract and a good run of form would be more than welcome.