Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal has been talking to the club's official website and he has spoken out about his move to the club and his debut against Stoke City.
It was late evening on January 31st and for Monreal, everything was normal, until he was put on a plane and sent too England to talk with Arsenal Football Club.
He was brought from Spanish side Malaga for a fee estimated around £10 million and a couple of days after signing for the Gunners, he was playing for the Gunners.
He was brought in suddenly because of the injury Kieran Gibbs picked up that ruled him out for six weeks and manager Arsene Wenger was clearly not ready to trust Andre Santos in the first-team, who has now been sent of loan to Gremio.
Since joining in January, Monreal has been impressive at left-back and has built up quite a battle with team-mate Gibbs to see who gets the first-team spot.
When talking to the club's official site, Monreal revealed it was quite a whirlwind couple of days as one minute he was in Spain and the next he was playing in England against Stoke City.
“Well, the truth is that there wasn’t enough time for anything to register,” Monreal says.
“On Thursday I arrive here. At the last minute I’m signing the contract. Friday, I’m training with my teammates for the first time, and then straight to the hotel. The next day I’m playing the game.
“It all went so fast that you don’t really take in what’s happening, but it went well. Ultimately, what I was doing is playing a game of football that I’ve done all my life.”
The 26-year-old then admitted that he had never quite experienced a game like he did against Stoke and he revealed that it was quite a culture shock for him.
“From when I arrived two days beforehand, the people here were giving me an idea of what the match would be like, that Stoke are a very big team, that the centre-backs get the ball and always hit it towards the forward but one thing is what people say to you and another is the reality.
“It was a strange game for me. For every throw-in, the centre backs went up. When you had a free kick close to the box, the whole world went up.
“I’m not used to that because in Spain it’s not like that, it’s more tactical. Here, the idea is a little more direct, not as much elaboration on the ball or possession. It’s more physical, faster. The players are physically stronger, very big.
“It’s another way of looking at football and totally respectable. You just have to adapt.”
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