Football - Wenger: Monreal arrival is no quick-fix

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned not to expect the signing of Spain full-back Nacho Monreal to solve all of his side's defensive shortcomings.

PA Sport

The Gunners moved to push through a deadline-day deal with Malaga, believed to be for £8.5million, after England defender Kieran Gibbs hobbled out of Wednesday's Barclays Premier League draw against Liverpool with a thigh problem.

Gibbs could now be out for up to eight weeks, missing the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich for which Monreal will be cup-tied. While happy to have secured the services of such an experienced player, who could make his debut at home to Stoke tomorrow, Wenger accepts Arsenal can only tighten up at the back with improved team displays.

"What we want him to do is to take part in our collective game and not expect anything especially individually because our game is based on team play and he has been chosen because he can integrate that," said Wenger, who watched his team fall 2-0 against Liverpool before mounting a comeback.

"He has the characteristics to play our game because he is very mobile, has a good left foot and is very good in combination play, which is of course vital in our style of play. We just have to keep going with the quality and get the nervous side out of our game."

Monreal has been on Wenger's radar for some time, although not one of the many names linked with a January switch to Emirates Stadium. The Gunners boss felt it was important to bring in experienced cover, with out-of-form Brazilian Andre Santos the only other recognised left-back.

"Our scouts have followed his progress for a while and of course we had a blow with the Gibbs injury, which is a bit longer than expected," Wenger said.

"We expected two to three weeks, now it will be four to six, so we were in a position where we had to make a quick decision. That explains our buy."

Wenger continued: "I believe we need two left-backs. You cannot play every single game with the same player. We had two before, we have two again now.

"If Gibbs is out for four to six weeks, from six it can easily go to eight [before he is competitive again] and that means two months in a very decisive period, so it is vital to have another left back."

View comments (7)