Arsenal left-back Nacho Monreal insists he does not regret joining the Gunners over Athletic Bilbao last year, although the Spaniard admits he is disappointed not to have played more matches this season.
The 28-year-old currently finds himself behind Kieran Gibbs in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium - and this lack of game-time looks set to have a direct impact on his chances of being called up for Spain’s 23-man World Cup squad at the end of the season.
Monreal told Spanish newspaper AS: "I was hoping to play a lot more, I have not had luck with injuries. I've now overcome a problem in the big toe of the left foot. I started the season a month later because of the Confederations [Cup] and had back problems. [Arsene] Wenger put Gibbs in and won and won... I got back to being a starter, but then came the injury."”
Despite his frustration at not playing more minutes, Monreal still believes he was right to sign for Arsenal over Athletic Bilbao, even though the Basque club are enjoying a fine campaign in La Liga under the management of Ernesto Valverde.
"No [I don't regret it],” Monreal responded when asked if he wished he’d made a different decision. “I arrived at Arsenal in a great moment of confidence... It's a great club. I was very flattered by the interest of the Athletic. They asked for me several times at Osasuna and Malaga. They are one of the best clubs in the league and are playing great football."
Monreal admitted that his chances of breaking into the Spain squad are now slim - although he has not abandoned all hope just yet - while he also reminisced about his time playing for Malaga under the tutelage of current Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who the defender described as a “great technician”.