Nacho Monreal leaves Arsenal 

Arsenal have confirmed Spanish defender Nacho Monreal has signed for La Liga side Real Socieded.

The Spanish international in Arsenal’s first three games and captained the team in their 2-1 win against Burnley at the Emirates. He made his last appearance last weekend in Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

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Monreal departs after six year spell 

Monreal joined Arsenal in January 2013 from La Liga side Malaga for around £8.5 million, on a long-term contract.

He made his Arsenal debut against Stoke City two days later in a 1-0 home win before assisting Santi Cazorla in Arsenal’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa. Scoring his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Swansea City, Monreal featured 11 times in the 2012/13 campaign.

During the 2013/14 campaign, he continued to be Arsenal’s second choice left-back behind Kieran Gibbs. The Spanish international regularly featured in Arsenal’s domestic cup competitions and was part of Arsenal’s 2014 FA Cup success, albeit an unused substitute in the cup final win over Hull City.

He also scored the winning penalty in a shootout against West Bromwich Albion to send Arsenal into the League Cup fourth round. He made a total of 36 appearances in his first full season at the club consists of 10 sub appearances in the Premier League.  

The following campaign, Monreal came on as a second half substitute in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Manchester City in the Community Shield. Immediately, he began as a makeshift centre-back due to injury crisis in the squad, covering the likes of Laurent Koscielny who suffered an Achilles tendon injury.

After coming on leaps and bounds during the 2014/15 campaign, he cemented his place as Arsenal’s first choice left back. Monreal played a significant part in Arsenal’s FA Cup run- scored the opening goal at Old Trafford which Arsenal won 2-1 against Manchester United to progress into the semi-finals. Monreal featured in the FA Cup final win over Aston Villa during which he played the fully ninety minutes, underlining his importance to the side.

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A career that goes out on a high...

Monreal remained as first choice-left back till the end of his Arsenal career as one of the most reliable performers in the team- played a huge part in further success in the Community Shields win over Chelsea in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Indeed, he was one of the penalty scorers in the shootout win in 2017 Community Shield win before adding another FA Cup winners medal to his cabinet in 2017.

The stand-out moment for Monreal was scoring the vital equaliser in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City which Arsenal came from behind to win 2-1.

His best goalscoring season was in 2017/18 season, scoring in six occasions which proved to Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge for the Gunners, ending his 22-year tenure at the club.

Monreal’s Arsenal career ends with 251 appearances, scoring 10 goals and 20 assists. He won three FA Cups, three Community Shields and played a big part in Arsenal’s run to the Europa League Final last season. He has been an excellent servant and always gave everything for the club.

The club thanked the Spaniard for his contributions and wishes him well for his future endeavours.