Arsenal only made £10m move for Nacho Monreal due to Kieran Gibbs injury

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger explains last minute transfer

Arsene Wenger today revealed that it was only a longer than expected injury to Kieran Gibbs that led Arsenal to sign Nacho Monreal.

Gibbs sustained a problem in Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Liverpool, after which Wenger claimed the left-back would be unavailable for just three weeks, report the Evening Standard.

However, tests have shown the injury to be more severe than first thought, with the thigh problem ruling Gibbs out for up to six weeks, prompting the Gunners to move for the Malaga player with Andre Santos the only available left-back at the club.

The 26-year-old joined the Gunners just before the transfer window closed last night on a four-and-a-half-year deal for a fee in the region of £10m.

"Our scouts have followed his progress for a while and, of course, we had a blow with the Gibbs injury, which will keep him out a bit longer than expected," said Wenger. "We expected two to three weeks but it will be four to six, so we were in a position where we had to make a quick decision.

"We bought him as a left-back but he can play, as well, as a left-sided midfielder. We bought him, as well, because we believe he can integrate our style of play and adapt very quickly to that.

"He has the characteristics to play our game because he is very mobile, he has a good left foot and is good in combination play. It is, of course, vital in our style of play.

"What we want him to do is to take part in our collective game and not expect anything individually because our game is based on team play and he has been chosen because he can integrate that."

Nacho will go straight into the squad for tomorrow's Premier League home match against Stoke, and Wenger will be tempted to throw him into action with Santos heavily criticised by some supporters.

The Brazilian's popularity remains low after he was seen swapping shirts with former Arsenal striker Robin van Persie during half-time of Manchester United's 2-1 win in November.

Santos is greeted with a mixed reception every time he plays but he could yet perform a pivotal role in the club's Champions League campaign. Nacho is cup tied having represented Malaga in the competition this season and with Gibbs unavailable, Wenger has only Santos and a makeshift alternative in Thomas Vermaelen as candidates to play at left-back against Bayern Munich.

Wenger added: "Santos has a future at the club, why not? Maybe people speak that he had a difficult game [against Liverpool] but he lacks competition. He is a style of player who needs competition because he is not a nervous type, he is a stamina type of player and get will sharper through competition.

"The criticism he gets is unfair because if you watch the game again and you analyse very well his performance, you will be less critical.

"The first critics after the game are always a bit emotional because you have one or two big mistakes in your mind and we are all the same on that front. But when you watch the games again, you will see that he has done some good things.

"Honestly, I believe that Kieran Gibbs will be out for the Champions League because we are not even three weeks away from Bayern now.

"So I will not play Nacho and certainly not Gibbs but if you want me to tell you who will play, today I can't tell you!

"Vermaelen can play in that position as well. Santos could have a key role as well."

Wenger revealed Arsenal were close to signing one more player, having been heavily linked with Barcelona striker David Villa and West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame but insists he is happy the squad can achieve their targets despite only adding Nacho.

"We were close to one more signature," said Wenger. "It did not happen because of the desires of the clubs to sell or not to sell. It is only linked with that.

"It was not a money problem, it was more a desire from other clubs to keep their players. I believe that we have top quality in our squad and that is what we want to show until the end of the season.

"We have some aspects in our game that we need to improve and how active we will be in the market in the summer will be decided how well we do now until the end of the season."

Abou Diaby is available for tomorrow's game, while Mikel Arteta faces a fitness test on a calf problem and Vermaelen is a doubt with an ankle injury but Francis Coquelin (hamstring) is still out.

Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
Russell Brand has written a book of political analysis called Revolution
peopleFilm star says he is 'not interested in making money anymore'
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballAccording to revelations from Sergio Aguero's new biography
News
people'When I see people who look totally different, it brings me back to that time in my life'
News
news
News
people

Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

Life and Style
Meow! ... Again, Kim Kardashian goes for a sexy Halloween costume, wrapping her body with a latex catsuit and high heeled knee boots
fashionFrom Heidi Klum to Kim Kardashian
News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Extras
indybest
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksChristmas comes early for wizard fans
Arts and Entertainment
filmsOculus Rift offers breathtakingly realistic simulation of zero gravity
Life and Style
tech

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker