Arsenal are reportedly watching Ajax’s Nicolas Tagliafico as a replacement for Nacho Monreal who could, apparently, be on his way to Barcelona in January.

Ok, then.

I noticed this article in the Italian press as they covered Napoli’s reported interest in the player, but then I realised their source was The S*n.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal of Arsenal celebrate victory after the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 27: Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal of Arsenal celebrate victory after the Emirates FA Cup Final between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Arsenal will certainly be on the look-out for another left-back sooner rather than later but there is no indication that they are prepared to let Monreal, who is under contract until 2019, leave for Barcelona in January.

That being said, given his age and contract status, a January departure wouldn’t be that much of a shock, especially as he turns 33 in February. It just doesn’t make much sense to me that the club would let a player, good enough for Barcelona, leave when he seems more than happy to stay at the club.

Monreal has been linked with an Arsenal exit for some time with Athletic Bilbao eyeing him up consistently due to his Basque heritage.

180911 sport spain monreal barcelona
Sport 11 September 2018

As for Tagliafico, he’s a 26-year-old left-footer who has only been playing for the Eredivisie runners-up he signed from Independiente in January.

So far this season, he has two goals and two assists from 15 appearances which is more than a decent return for a full-back.

Nacho himself, however, has one goal and three assists in 10 appearances while on the other flank Hector Bellerin has four assists from nine games.

MUNICH, GERMANY - OCTOBER 02: Nicolas Tagliafico of Ajax plays the ball during the Group E match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Bayern Muenchen and Ajax at Allianz Arena on October 2, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
MUNICH, GERMANY – OCTOBER 02: Nicolas Tagliafico of Ajax plays the ball during the Group E match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Bayern Muenchen and Ajax at Allianz Arena on October 2, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

What was interesting about the S*n’s piece was their insistence that Sead Kolasinac has not impressed since his arrival. This follows on from the bizarre claim made in the Mirror that Unai Emery dislikes the Bosnian so much he is picking Ainsley Maitland-Niles ahead of him despite this clearly not being the case.

Tagliafico’s strengths are listed as ball interception, ball retention and passing with his biggest weakness his discipline.

Sounds like he was tailor-made for Arsenal, doesn’t it?

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.