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Unai Emery wanted to pick Nacho Monreal in Arsenal starting XI for north London derby

first_imgUnai Emery wanted to pick Nacho Monreal in Arsenal starting XI for north London derby Comment Monreal’s long-term replacement is Kieran Tierney, but he is currently sidelined (Picture: Getty)Although Monreal was well liked by Emery, his game time was likely to reduce significantly once summer signing Kieran Tierney returns to full fitness.The Scot arrived at the Emirates in a £25million deal from Celtic but was recovering from a double hernia operation over the summer; he is expected to make his return to full training this month, with a debut to follow not long after.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Metro Sport ReporterMonday 9 Sep 2019 9:50 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link426Shares Advertisementcenter_img The Spanish coach wanted to use his compatriot against Spurs before letting him leave (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery had wanted to delay Nacho Monreal’s transfer away from Arsenal so he could start against Tottenham in the north London derby but was prevented from doing so.The Gunners fought back from two goals down against Spurs to draw 2-2 at the Emirates in a thrilling contest, while Monreal completed a move to Real Sociedad barely 24 hours beforehand.He had taken part in training that week and, according to The Athletic, if Emery had been given his way he would have started at left-back in the derby. Advertisement Monreal’s move was confirmed on Saturday morning, with Arsenal playing Sunday afternoon (Getty)The Arsenal boss had no qualms about playing Henrikh Mkhitaryan despite the midfielder being shipped off to Roma the very next day, and he wanted to do the same with Monreal.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTThe defender was one of the manager’s most trusted players and would have been part of Arsenal’s leadership team – Emery likes to pick five ‘captains’ – but he had his heart set on a return to Spain.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityRegardless, Emery had hoped to get one more outing out of Monreal in the blood and thunder atmosphere of a north London derby, but Arsenal chiefs decided to sanction his transfer to Sociedad before the game instead, denying Emery the chance to name his preferred starting XI.Arsenal had appeared to pinpoint Spurs’ right flank as an area of weakness – with centre-back Davinson Sanchez forced to play at right-back due to injuries – but Monreal’s replacement, Sead Kolasinac, could not make the most of the space and opportunities he was provided.last_img

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