• Premier League

Monreal's adjustment excites Wenger

ESPN staff
February 27, 2013
Nacho Monreal helped Santi Cazorla score the winner against Aston Villa © PA Photos

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes January signing Nacho Monreal can flourish as an attacking threat once he adjusts to the style of play in the Premier League.

Left-back Monreal, a deadline day transfer from Spanish side Malaga, has impressed in his appearances for the north London club to date; showing a glimpse of his creative potential as he provided the assist for Santi Cazorla's winner against Aston Villa at the weekend.

And Wenger, already pleased with the Spain international's defensive prowess, believes that incisiveness at the other end of the pitch can be a sign of things to come for the full-back.

"The first thing you want from your defenders is to defend well, so we cannot reproach him for that," Wenger said of Monreal. "You will see the other aspects of his game more when his confidence has settled.

"Monreal is good in the air for a guy of his size, has a quick leap and has looked good. He is very strong in other areas too, his crosses for example, and his forward play you will see a bit later.

"It happened with Kieran Gibbs too, the more confident he became the more efficient he was going forward. It can take a bit of time to express that side."

It can sometimes prove difficult for players to adjust to the particular challenges of English football, but Wenger is confident Monreal has adapted to everything thrown at him so far.

"There is no better culture shock than to play against Stoke and Sunderland," Wenger noted. "He has not said a word to me about it, but he has spoken with the other players and he has seen all about the passion and commitment of the English game.

"You can say Nacho Monreal passed that test."

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