Former Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal admits he would’ve ‘loved’ to have played under Mikel Arteta

The two lined up together at the Emirates
The two lined up together at the Emirates (Picture: Getty Images)

Nacho Monreal has revealed he would’ve ‘loved’ to have played under Mikel Arteta, insisting the Arsenal boss has been a breath of ‘fresh air’ at the north London club.

The 34-year-old left the Gunners last summer while Unai Emery was in charge, ending a six-and-a-half-year spell at the Emirates Stadium.

Kieran Tierney’s arrival from Celtic had put Monreal’s place in the starting XI under threat and he returned to La Liga with Real Sociedad.

Monreal spent six-and-a-half years at Arsenal
Monreal spent six-and-a-half years at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Arteta succeeded Emery last December and has had mixed success so far. After guiding his side to FA Cup glory in his first season as a manager, the Gunners are now marooned in mid-table after losing four of their opening nine Premier League games this term.

But Monreal is impressed with the job his former Arsenal team-mate Arteta has done and believes he has much more room to grow.

When asked if he always saw Arteta as a manager, the Spaniard told the Guardian: ‘Yes. You could see it. He was a leader, a captain. He expressed himself very well, spoke in every meeting, knowledgeably.

‘He communicated well. He was doing his badges, telling us his vocation was coaching. He was bright, tactically he understood, he grasped everything.

‘That said, so fast? No. I didn’t expect that. But he will have learned with [Pep] Guardiola. He’s brought fresh air and will grow more.’

‘I would have loved to have played under Arteta,’ Monreal added.

‘I spoke to Héctor [Bellerin] about that. I had him as a team-mate and I would have loved to see him as a coach; there’s that curiosity in me.

‘But I chose another path and came to San Sebastián. I’m happy for me and him because things are going well.’

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