Nacho Monreal was one of the under-the-radar signings that Arsene Wenger made at Arsenal and the Spaniard has so much admiration for his former manager.
He was at the Emirates from 2013 to 2019 after arriving from Malaga and spent most of his Arsenal time under the management of the Frenchman.
He recently granted an interview to The Telegraph and spoke about the man that led the Gunners to an unbeaten league season in the 2003/2004 campaign.
Wenger came into England and conquered the Premier League and other domestic competitions.
Monreal said he had to sell his best players because of the club’s move from Highbury to the Emirates, yet he still achieved top-four finishes.
Since he left the Emirates, the Gunners haven’t made the Champions League and Monreal reckons that it shows how good yet underappreciated he was.
“His work was wonderful,” says Monreal to The Telegraph.
“He took over a historic team and he totally changed them. He chose to sign young players, particularly French, and was champion of England.
“Then he had to evolve and change because when the club moved from Highbury to the Emirates they had to pay for the new stadium by selling their best players. But even so, Wenger managed to always keep the team in the top four. Since Wenger left, no one has returned the team to the Champions League.”
The Gunners are still a long way from making the top four with Mikel Arteta’s current team at risk of not playing European football next season.