Nacho Monreal has revealed that Unai Emery asked him to play in the North London derby before completing his move to Real Sociedad.
Eyebrows were raised when the Gunners allowed the Spain international to leave for the Basque outfit 24 hours before the clash with Sp*rs, especially as he’d appeared in three consecutive games ahead of Sead Kolasinac.
In fairness, if we were Real Sociedad, and on the cusp of sealing a cracking cut-price deal for Monreal, we’d probably not want him taking part in such a high-intensity encounter either.
Monreal also revealed that he had weighed up leaving when Arsene Wenger departed only for Emery to persuade him otherwise.
“In my head for weeks there was already the possibility of coming here, and a few days ago we agreed and here we are,” Monreal told AS [translated by Sport Witness].
“Last year, let’s just say we couldn’t come to an agreement, because it was Emery’s first year. He was blunt from the first moment saying I wasn’t going out.
“And this year the parties have been more open. Emery kept insisting that I go on, even asked me to play the derby against London.”
It’s hoped that new signing Kieran Tierney will take part in his first team training session when the Interlull ends thus mitigating the loss of Monreal.