Arsenal’s new signing Nacho Monreal is set to make his Arsenal debut against Stoke City tomorrow with Arsene Wenger confirming Kieran Gibbs will be out for longer than expected.
Arsene Wenger confirmed in his pre-match presser this morning that, with Kieran Gibbs out for up to six weeks with a thigh injury, the 26-year-old the Spaniard could even make his debut against Stoke City on Saturday after his £8.5million move from Malaga before the 11pm transfer deadline.
“Monreal is available for the weekend game,” said Wenger.
“He can improve our defence, but we want him to take part in our collective play.
“He can play as a left winger too and he can adapt very quickly.”
Wenger confirmed Kieran Gibbs, who was substituted on Wednesday in his side 2-2 draw with Liverpool is actually out for around 4 – 6 weeks.
‘It will be four to six weeks for Gibbs,’ he added.
‘I believe we need two left backs. We had two before, we have two again now because Gibbs is out.’
The manager concluded by saying Andre Santos still has a future at Arsenal – despite the arrival of Nacho Monreal.
Santos received a mixed reception from the Emirates Stadium crowd when he replaced Gibbs during the midweek draw against the reds but Wenger defended the Brazilian ahead of the visit of Stoke City.
“Maybe people speak that he had a difficult game [against Liverpool] but he lacks competition,” said the Arsenal manager.
“He is a style of player who needs competition because he is not a nervous type of player, he is a stamina type of player and get sharper through competition.
“Yes [the criticism of Santos is unfair] because if you watch the game again and you analyse very well his performance, you will be less critical.
“The first critics after the game are always a bit emotional because you have one or two big mistakes in your mind and we are all the same on that front. But when you watch the games again, you will see that he has done some good things.”
Wenger also revealed Arsenal nearly added a second player on deadline day, but the deal ‘didn’t happen because of the desires of the clubs not to sell’.
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