GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN - AUGUST 07: Nacho Monreal of Arsenal during the Pre-Season Friendly between Arsenal and Manchester City at Ullevi on August 7, 2016 in Gothenburg, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)

Ignacio Nacho Monreal was relatively unknown before he jumped ship from Malaga to Arsenal, in 2013. Brought in as a winter back-up for Kieran Gibbs, Nacho impressed former manager Arsene Wenger with his consistent performances and soon won the trust of the Frenchman.  

Reports suggest Real Sociedad are now interested in luring the defender to the Anoeta Stadium. Nacho will be out of contract by January 2019, so Arsenal will have to act quickly or risk losing their key man on a free transfer. However, it is understood that Nacho has no intentions as of yet to make the move to Spain.

Real Sociedad need to improve their defensive structure if they are to compete for a place in Europe next season. They might have secured a 12th spot finish during the 2017-2018 league campaign but their defence has to put in harder shifts if they are to shy away from conceding 59 goals again. Monreal would help bring in some stability to a leaky back line.

The Spaniard’s impressive displays cemented his place within the Arsenal ranks and he went on to make an impressive 162 appearances during his five-year stay at the North London club. Monreal has a lot of pace at his disposal and is fearless at making tackles. He reads the opposition well and knows when to challenge for the ball. He does not take risks which makes him trustworthy when deployed as a centre back. His primary position, however, is at left back, where he is most effective on the field of play.

With new boss Unai Emery yet to decide on who his main left back would be, holding on to Monreal and offering him a new contract will be a wise decision. The road is long and weary so having a strong squad is integral for any team to have an overall successful season.

His positioning on the field and his quickness to break down opposition plays are some key components of Monreal’s game. He is trustworthy at the back and any manager would welcome a player of his experience and leadership on their team.

Age is slowly creeping up on Monreal, as it does for everyone eventually. However, a man with the heart of a lion will keep on fighting the odds until he himself accepts and succumbs to defeat. So until that happens, we can expect to continue admiring someone who works not only for himself but for the greater good of his team and teammates.

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Arsenal must do all they can to hold on to someone who respects and puts the club’s crest ahead of his own needs.

Jarryd is an ex-footballer who passed out from St. Xavier's College. With a keen knack for gegenpressing, Jarryd is a nerd when it comes to tactics in football.