Yet another Arsenal player is in the news and he has been linked with the exit door. The English and Spanish media are reporting that Athletico Bilbao are interested in luring Arsenal Spanish left back Nacho Monreal back to the La Liga.
This is quite an interesting piece of news. Monreal was not really up to it last season and has often struggled since his switch to the Premier League. He seems to have failed to come to terms with the pace of the English game and would certainly welcome a move back to the La Liga that represents a familiar terrain.
A section of Arsenal fans believe Monreal isn’t Arsenal grade but I believe he is but just not suited for the style prevalent in England. A move back to Spain would present Arsenal a good opportunity to cut their loss on a player they signed for 8million Pounds last year.
The Gunners could use him as a bait to get another highly rated defender from the La Liga outfit. The Gunners were linked with a move for Bilbao’s highly rated French defender Aymeric Laporte. The French youngster dismissed the reports but I am quite sure an opportunity to star for one of the best teams in Europe would have excited him even if secretly.
Bilbao are notorious for their stubbornness when it comes to keeping their top players and warding off interest in them from top clubs. That is true but Arsenal could use the bait of Monreal to bring down the buyout clause and with Wenger reportedly having money to spend, he can always offer Bilbao a decent fee for the highly rated defender.
With Sagna gone and Vermaelen likely to follow, the Gunners need to bring in defenders maybe not one that can walk straight into the team to bench Koscielny or Mertesacker but at least one that can act as a competent back-up for both men. With the rave reviews that have come the way of Laporte, he looks like that calibre of player.