Arsenal suffer fresh injury blow, 20-year-old will now have to face Man City

By on August 5, 2018

Arsenal have suffered a fresh injury blow ahead of the new Premier League season as Nacho Monreal is a major doubt to face Manchester City due to a knee problem.

Monreal was expected to make his first appearance of pre-season during our friendly with Lazio in Stockholm on Saturday night but wasn’t included in the squad.

Unai Emery confirmed after the 2-0 victory that the 32-year-old returned to pre-season training last week with a minor knee injury and has been working away from the rest of the squad doing individual work with the physios.

Monreal is hoping to rejoin full training on Tuesday but he’s yet to play a single minute of our pre-season matches so is a major doubt for our Premier League opener against Man City.

Emery hasn’t ruled him out entirely but with just a handful of days left until we face the champions, it’s virtually impossible for Monreal to be available so we’ve got a void to fill at left-back.

Sead Kolasinac has been ruled out for at least 8 weeks with a knee injury that he picked up against Chelsea last week so Emery has hinted Ainsley Maitland-Niles will start against City having played 90 minutes at left-back last night.

Emery told Arsenal.com:

“He [Monreal] arrived with no big injuries, but his knee has a little problem and he’s training everyday but not with the us,”

“He’s doing work alone with the physical coach, and running, and we think maybe on Tuesday he can start training with the team.

“We don’t want the injuries but it’s one of those things that you can’t help. We have players like Nacho, but he arrived late from the World Cup and also has a small injury. It’s difficult for him to arrive for the match against Manchester City.

“For us we are trying to help Ainsley play in this position and, for me, I want to give confidence to all my players in their positions, then he can play in this position as best as possible. My confidence in all my players is great.”

It’s a big blow to lose Monreal on top of Kolasinac ahead of the City game but thankfully Nacho’s injury isn’t serious so he could be available for the trip to Stamford Bridge the following week.

Maitland-Niles did reasonably well at left-back against Lazio and has experience in the role having played there at times last season so hopefully it won’t be a serious problem against Pep Guardiola’s men.