New Arsenal signing Nacho Monreal faces swift baptism against Stoke

Wenger confident left-back will fit in to Arsenal's style and could give new signing his debut today

Arsenal's new left-back Nacho Monreal could be thrown straight into Premier League action at home to Stoke City this afternoon, with Arsène Wenger confident the Spain international can adapt quickly to the game in England.

The full-back was signed from Malaga only on Thursday night but with regular left-back Kieran Gibbs out for up to two months and Thomas Vermaelen a doubt, Wenger may hand him a quick debut.

"Monreal is available for the weekend game," Wenger said yesterday morning. "I have not made a decision yet. [If the game is] too quick or not, that is what I have to decide."

Arsenal moved late in the transfer window after Gibbs picked up a thigh injury during Wednesday evening's game against Liverpool. "If Gibbs is out for four to six weeks, from six it can easily go to eight [before he is competitive again] and that means two months in a very decisive period. It's vital to have another left-back. We were in a position where we had to make a quick decision. That explains our buy."

Wenger is confident that Monreal, who has seven Spain caps, will fit in to Arsenal's approach. "We bought him as well because we believe he can integrate our style of play and adapt very quickly to that," Wenger said. "He has the characteristics to play our game because he is very mobile, he has a good left foot and is very good in combination play. It is of course vital in our style of play.

"What I like with him is his quick decisions. He's good in the air. He's not super tall but he's good in the air, which is always important. His transitional play, from offence to defence and defence to offence, is quick.

"I don't think he's as spectacular going forward as Jordi Alba [Spain's first choice left-back], he is quite unique. But his offensive record is quite good, in creating crosses and final balls. He's quite good at that."

Monreal played with Santi Cazorla at Malaga and Wenger said he discussed Monreal's character with the playmaker. "The worry for us is how well he will adapt to English life. Santi said we have no problem on that front. He's a very intelligent boy and he's very good in the dressing room."

Monreal will join a defence that has conceded seven goals in their last four games and Wenger again explained their struggles as being due to a lack of confidence.

"Somebody told me that we were second in the league, just two points behind Man City, on our second half of games, but 12th in the first half," Wenger said. "That can only be psychological because you do not become a good football player in the second half and you are bad in the first half.

"The team has certainly been deeply affected by all the negativity and as well by the fact they are highly focused to do well."

Wenger said that none of his players enjoyed criticism. "Everyone of us is affected by criticism. I didn't meet one person who loves absolutely to be slaughtered. All of us prefer to say 'yes you're great, you're good'."

Mikel Arteta and Abou Diaby could both return in midfield for the visit of Stoke.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas