Injury forced Arsenal in to late transfer

Malaga defender Ignacio Monreal

Arsene Wenger admits the late signing of Nacho Monreal was precipitated by Kieron Gibbs being ruled out for the next two months, the Mirror report.

The Malaga left back just about completed his £8 million transfer to Arsenal before the 11pm deadline and now appears set to make his Premier League debut against Stoke at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

And Wenger revealed the 26-year-old left back’s switch to the Emirates Stadium only came about after Gibbs’ thigh injury, picked up in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Wednesday and expected to keep him out for a fortnight, turned out to be more severe than the initial prognosis suggested meaning he will now be sidelined until April.

“We moved for him because Kieran is worse than first feared, maybe four to six weeks and possibly eight weeks before he can play competitively again,” the Frenchman said.

“We have been watching Monreal for some time but we moved for him because he is a quality player who can fit into our philosophy.

“He can play with our passing game, inter play and do well here. He could play on the left midfield but we’ve signed him as a left back.”

The Gunners boss will put Monreal through his paces to test his fitness ahead of the Potters clash and could be forced to field Andre Santos should the Spaniard be ruled out of contention for a starting spot.

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