x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Premier League: Nacho Monreal happy he made the move from Malaga to Arsenal

The left-back has revealed manager Arsene Wenger has given him an abundance of self-confidence since signing for Arsenal.

Nacho Monreal, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Swansea last month. Ian Kington / AFP
Nacho Monreal, centre, celebrates with teammates after scoring against Swansea last month. Ian Kington / AFP

Nacho Monreal has revealed manager Arsene Wenger has given him an abundance of self-confidence since signing for Arsenal.

Wenger paid £8.5 million (Dh47.7m) to bring the Malaga left-back to the Emirates in January and he has impressed in his short time at the club. The 27-year-old Spain international has praised Wenger's positivity for helping him adapt to the Premier League.

"Since I've been here the manager has given me a lot of confidence and he's been starting me," he told Arsenal Player. "This has been very important for me because it helps a lot to feel that the manager has faith in me, especially as I've just arrived. This in turn this leads to good performances.

"Everything has been challenging in different amounts, because the league is completely different to La Liga. Coming here and not speaking the language, being unable to communicate with my teammates, is one of many difficult situations that is making me grow as a person and as a player."

Monreal spent two years at Malaga after establishing himself at Osasuna and his move to north London represents his first venture into club football away from Spain. "It has been tough adapting to the type of football played here in England as the players are a lot more physical," he said.

"There's also a different style of play, as I've said before there's an emphasis on reaching your opponent's goal as quickly as possible.

"The worst change for me is the difference between a very hot town in the south of Spain and the freezing cold weather over here."

Monreal has overcome a knee injury and is expected to retain his place in Wenger's starting line-up for today's trip to West Bromwich Albion.

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott have an outside chance of being fit for the Hawthorns clash.

One Arsenal player who will definitely miss the game is the midfielder Abou Diaby, who was been ruled out for the rest of the season following surgery to repair a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament.

Steve Bould, the assistant manager, said: "He's had seven years of injuries and it takes a huge character to come back. Maybe it's a chance for him to correct everything that was going wrong. That's the positive that he can go forward with."

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