Nacho Monreal says Arsene Wenger has given him lift since joining Arsenal

Spanish full-back joined the club in January

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

Wenger paid around £8.5million to bring the Malaga left-back to the Emirates in January and the 27-year-old has impressed in his short time at the club.

The Spain international has praised Wenger's positivity for helping him adapt to the Barclays 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 team-mates, 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 a 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 added.

"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. I've been here two months now and little by little I am adapting to this style of play. I am happy to be here.

"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 likely to retain his place in Wenger's starting line-up for Saturday's trip to West Brom.

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

One Arsenal player who will definitely miss the game is midfielder Abou Diaby, who was been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The 26-year-old had surgery on a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament, the latest in a long list of injury problems the France international has had to deal with and assistant manager Steve Bould is hoping this prolonged lay-off could be the last.

"As we all know, he's had seven years of injuries and it takes a huge character to come back," said Bould.

"Maybe it's a chance for him to correct everything that was going wrong. That's the positive that he can go forward with.

"He might use the seven or eight months to get rid of all those injuries that he was struggling with. We're all hoping and praying that he comes back a better player."

Arsenal would move back into the top four for at least 24 hours if they can beat the Baggies with London rivals Chelsea not playing until Sunday afternoon.

PA

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