Monreal has looked the part this season, so far by SE
Monreal is probably the most understated player in the Arsenal lineup. When Kieran Gibbs is fit and firing, the Spaniard hardly ever gets a game and, even when he does get sporadic game time here and there, the rustiness is very much palpable. Add to that, his lack of pace gets pointed out time and again, and it becomes a kind of an indictment against Arsenal’s second choice Left-Back. So, apparently, it’s tough being Monreal, and take everything in your stride as a person, let alone as a player.
However, this season, Monreal has unearthed his mojo and been filling in ably, during the absence of Gibbs. Yes, the attributes and the player that Monreal is haven’t undergone a revamp; but the questions imposed on him are getting the rightful answers through performances on the pitch.
I have been particularly impressed with the utility he is rendering Arsenal, with his overlapping runs and subsequent crosses into the box. The cross that was headed in by Giroud for the equalizer against Everton was a sumptuous one, and it’s those kinds of little things that has got Monreal looking the part this season, so far.
Defensively, he’s yet to be tested this season. The imminent question would be, “Can Monreal put up against the pace of Navas?” for which we will get the answer in due course, but having had a lot of game time than what he usually manages to, while Gibbs is fit, I expect Monreal to stand up and keep out his opposing winger and full back.
I also think that irrespective of the player you are, game time is paramount to how you perform on the pitch, and Monreal is a classic example to that statement. Ozil, in the 250+ minutes he has played, after returning to action, hasn’t looked his usual self and, on the other hand, Monreal, with more game time, has looked the part.
There will be plenty more challenges for Monreal to stand up to this season and vindicate Wenger’s faith in him; but the early vibes suggest that the Spaniard is thriving with each passing game.