According to Noticias de Gipuzkoa, Real Sociedad are closing in on the signing of veteran Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal.
The Spanish left-back first joined the Gunners in 2013 and has since made 250 appearances for the club. However, the summer signing of Kieran Tierney has pushed him down the pecking order. On top of that, Monreal himself is said to be open to an exit from the Emirates Stadium and with only one year left on his current contract, time is running out for Arsenal to make any money from his departure. On paper, then, this return to La Liga makes sense for both Monreal and Arsenal.
However, Arsenal should not accept this offer for the 33-year-old. Monreal remains one of the most consistent and reliable defenders on the club’s books. Although Tierney is now at the club, he remains unavailable due to injury. That leaves only Monreal and Sead Kolasinac as viable left-back options for the immediate future.
Kolasinac has already proven himself to be defensively vulnerable. The 26-year-old Bosnian is younger than Monreal and boasts a greater market value because of this, but he should not be more prominent in Emery’s plans than Monreal.
Arsenal would be better served by trying to sell Kolasinac this summer, even if that means losing Monreal on a free transfer at the end of the season. At least then Emery would have a reliable back up left-back to call upon for the remainder of the campaign. Kolasinac is too error-prone to be considered reliable. Letting Monreal leave now would be a mistake.