Arsenal’s defense took another body blow today, as Nacho Monreal’s move back to Spain, rumored for a couple weeks now, became a reality. The defender has moved to Real Sociedad after almost seven years at Arsenal, a time in which he was always reliable, dependable, and efficient.
Those sound like faint-praise sort of compliments, but I promise they’re not; Monreal was the kind of defender you want. Doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, isn’t super flashy, but also rarely puts a foot wrong and generally was a rock at the back.
While this wasn’t unexpected, it’s still pretty disappointing - Nacho has, if you couldn’t tell, been one of my favorite recent-vintage Arsenal defenders. More imminently, though, it presents a problem at left back, where Arsenal are perilously thin. Kieran Tierney is the long-term replacement, but of course he’s still hurt, and won’t be back until October. So it looks like Sead Kolasinac better stay pretty dang healthy between now and October, otherwise Arsenal’s defense will be even scarier than it is now.
So long, Nacho - you’ll be missed.