After an absence of 3 years, Nacho Monreal will play for his national side again. The 30-year old was called up to replace Jordi Alba, who suffered a thigh injury during Spain’s 1-1 draw with Italy last night.
Monreal is the most natural replacement for Alba. Cesar Azpilicueta plays left back for Chelsea and does so ably, but Monreal, who had an excellent 2014/15 and 2015/16 season, is the better choice. Monreal hasn’t been as consistent to begin this season, but has also received less defensive support from Alex Iwobi than he usually received from Alexis.
Monreal last played for Spain in the 2013 Confederations Cup, despite his excellent form in the Premier League, and the call up is just rewards for his consistency. Monreal is the only Arsenal played in the Spanish squad during this international break: Santi Cazorla has been left out, again, and Hector Bellerin is away with the U-21s.