Monreal gets Wenger approval
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is pleased with how January signing Nacho Monreal has adapted to the rigors of the Premier League.
The 26-year-old demonstrated his versatility in his first three appearances for the Gunners, contributing to consecutive clean sheets against Stoke and Sunderland before teeing up Santi Cazorla to clinch a vital winner against Aston Villa at the weekend.
"There is no better culture shock than to play against Stoke and Sunderland," Wenger told reporters.
"He has seen all about the passion and commitment of the English game. You can say Nacho Monreal passed that test.
"The first thing you want from your defenders is to defend well, so we cannot reproach him for that. You will see the other aspects of his game more when his confidence has settled.
"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."
Wenger went on to admit that Arsenal had been monitoring the Spain international for some time and had earmarked the player as one of the club's main targets for the transfer window.
Despite a tumultuous couple of weeks, Wenger believes that the acquisition of the Spaniard from Malaga rounded off a successful January transfer window for the club, particularly after the drawn-out contract talks with Theo Walcott.
"Personally I am relieved because we dealt with the situation and we extended all of our players' (contracts), kept Walcott and bought Monreal," he added.
"Of course you can always do better but overall I feel the club has dealt with the situation we faced in a satisfactory way."