Tag Archives: nacho monreal

Gentleman’s agreement opens door to Monreal exit from Arsenal

The news that Nacho Monreal is off to Real Sociedad is a surprise for many after he started all 3 of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, but there is a clear and obvious explanation in his departure this summer.

Monreal quietly renewed his contract for an extra year earlier this year. There were rumours that it was done, but no announcement, no fanfare.

It was only really confirmed on the last day of the seasons when the club said goodbye to Pete Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck. Monreal did not get the big goodbye.

There seems to be an agreement between the Spaniard and the Arsenal hierarchy when he signed on for another year.

Arsenal were targeting a new left back, but wanted Monreal to stay on just incase they could not secure their man.

Monreal was happy to stay, but also wanted to play. If a new left back came in he would be 3rd choice, with Sead Kolasinac staying at the club.

So an agreement was struck.

Monreal would sign a new one year deal, but if Arsenal signed a new left back, they would accept any reasonable offers for their loyal servant.

Once Kieran Tierney was signed, time was ticking down on Monreal’s Arsenal career.

At 33, the curtain is clearly coming down on Monreal’s career. But he still wants to play football.

The easy option would have been to stay at Arsenal for another 1 or 2 years, not playing and banking millions. But Monreal is a proper professional.

Signed from Malaga in January 2013 for £8.5m, Monreal quickly became a fan favourite.

A defensive full back in an era of attacking players, did not have the pace of a Gael Clichy. However he was a better defender and put in a better cross.

He saw off the challenge of Kieran Gibbs and has played 250 times for Arsenal.

Even when Kolasinac came in, he never complained. He raised his game, regained his place and even reinvented himself as a central defender on the left of a 4 as Arsenal won the FA Cup.

He returns to Spain knowing that he made the most of his talent. He leaves with his head held high knowing he was heavily involved in 3 FA Cup wins and 250 games.

The fact he agreed to a new deal despite knowing Arsenal were trying to replace him shows his character.

He was willing to sacrifice a move to Spain to help the club out. To delay things for a year just in case Arsenal couldn’t sign a defender. It would have been easier to turn that contract down and move.

I wish him well in Spain in the twilight of his career and he leaves knowing that he has contributed to The Arsenal and is always welcome back.

Nacho, thanks for the memories.


Nacho Monreal and the FAKE NEWS of his terminated contract

Long term followers of this blog will know how much we hate Fake News, Twitter ITK’s and media outlets (both blogs and MSM) that generate transfer news for hits, clicks and ad revenue.

The recent news about Nacho Monreal having his “contract terminated” shows how easy it is to get Fake News into the mainstream.

At 16:50 yesterday, The Sun published an article about how Nacho Monreal’s contract had been “terminated” as Arsenal were looking to shave money off their wage bill to make space for Kieran Tierney.

Straight away alarm bells were ringing.

Monreal’s contract was due to expire at the end of last month. There had ben reported that he had signed a 1 year extension but nothing was officially announced.

What we do know is on the last day of the season, we said goodbye to Petr Cech, Danny Welbeck and Aaron Ramsey, but not Monreal. Indicating he had a new contract. The Spaniard also did not appear on the list of released players.

This all pointed to Monreal signing his new one year deal. It was then baffling that Arsenal would terminate his contract.

Had Arsenal terminated the contract, they would have had to have paid its value up in full – around £3.3million. This makes no sense. They would be better off letting him know that he could join another club on a free transfer.

Terminating Monreal’s contract would not see Arsenal lower their costs as they would have to pay that contract off.

The more realistic story is that it will be Saed Kolasinac sold with Tierney replacing the Bosnian. This will generate a bigger fee and further reduce the wage bill.

At this point both The Sun and The Daily Record (in Scotland) were running this story of Monreal having had his contract terminated. They both quoted the same source – NBC journalist Gerry Stuart.

Why would an American journalist have the inside scope on things happening at Arsenal?

A Google of his name along with NBC fails to bring up a single article written by Gerry Stuart. Not for NBC or any other media outlet. Does he even exist?

Back to The Sun’s story and they have a link to their source. It forwards you to Gerry Stuart’s Twitter account where he broke the news; and where he has also broken the news that Alexandre Lacazette has signed a new contract.

But then it does not take you to Gerry Stuart’s Twitter Account. Instead we see this:

So this NBC journalist who is breaking news about Arsenal on his Twitter account has his Twitter account suspended.

This brings you to the only possible conclusion. That it was someone pretending to be a journalist for attention.

The Monreal situation highlights how easy it is to spread Fake News.

The Sun, The Daily Record and others failed to verify the source of the news, they failed to check with any of their own sources. Instead they wend ahead and published the news.

Fake News is not just a football problem – although football has suffered from it for decades. It is now more important for media outlets to be fast rather than truthful when publishing news. Get the article up, fact check it later.

Off the back off The Sun’s story, blogs and Twitter accounts ran with it. Fuelling the fire further. Yet there was no factual basis for the story.

One of the AFTV “vloggers” filmed himself for 31 minutes for a video titled “Has Monreal Agreed To Terminate His Contract?”

It was literally someone making it up.

So let this be a lesson to everyone. Do not believe everything you read. Do Your Own Research. And just because loads of people are saying it on Twitter, it does not make it true.


What does Nacho Monreal’s contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

Arsenal have (reportedly at the time of writing) taken up the option of extending Nacho Monreal’s contract by a further year.

The Spanish international joined the club On 31 January 2013 for a fee believed to be around £8.5 million. In the 6 years he has been at the club, he has proved to be a very good signing, and has consistently been in the top 3 or 4 left backs in the league.

In recent years, he has also shown his worth on the left side of a back 3. Something which Unai emery might consider if he continues to play with 3 at the back.

Monreal turns 33 in February, so his career is coming to an end. However he has never been blessed with electric pace – relying on good positioning in defence and smart movement and solid crossing in attack. There is certainly still another 18 months in himat the top level.

But what does the contract extension mean for Sead Kolasinac?

The Bosnian clearly can not play in a back 4.

Unai Emery and Arsene Wenger before him have changed from a back 4 to a back 3 to accommodate Kolasinac. This is not a long term solution as defences rely on continuity. Both of personnel and system.

This summer Arsenal need to go out and buy another left back. A younger player who can be Monreal’s long term replacement. Ideally already good enough to play ahead of the Spaniard next season. Monreal then acts as back up / cover for his younger team mate.

This leave Kolasinac in a position where, at left back at least, he is surplus to requirements.

So what are Arsenal’s options?

Cash in

We have spoken before about Arsenal selling poorly. Arsenal would easily command a fee in excess of £20 million if they sold Kolasinac. Many clubs both at home and abroad would pay that for him.

If he is not a long term solution, cash in over the summer and reinvest those funds. Monreal is then cover and competition for the new left back, then in 2020 we can explore signing someone to replace Monreal as that cover (or promote from within).

The likes of Ben Chilwell, Ferland Mendy or Kieran Tierney for under £30m. Cashing in on Kolasinac would fund almost all of the transfer fee of a new left back.

Moving him forward

Kolasinac is dangerous in the final third. He is able to muscle his way to the bye-line and get quality crosses in. He has been one of Arsenal most creative players this season.

There is an argument that you can buy a new left back, keep Monreal for a year, and keep Kolasinac as a winger.

Getting forward from the wing is different from left-back, however.

He often makes runs from deep, into space that has been created by his winger (usually Alex Iwobi) dropping inside. When he starts further up the pitch, he has less space to get up to speed in, and would have less space to operate as the opposing full-back would follow him instead the winger.

is left footed and would hug the touchline. He would not be ideal as a regular starter wide left, but he would give Arsenal an attacking option off the bench.

Another option would be if we are chasing the game, to take off the left-back and put Kolasinac on. Sacrificing for the defence for someone who can get forward more and provide quality.

Likewise when defending a lead, he could be bought on to provide further cover for the left back, whilst still offering a threat going forward.

You often saw Arsenal do this in the past when they had Emmanuel Eboue and Bacary Sagna.

Moving forward, Kolasinac would also then double up as the cover for the full back when Monreal leaves.

By renewing Monreal’s contract for a further year, it gives us plenty of options in the summer. Keep Kolasinac. Sell Kolasinac. Use him as a winger. Use Monreal on the left of a back 3.

What is for sure is that we need to buy a long term left back option.