With Kieran Gibbs injured and Andre Santos making a mess of defending, Arsenal were desperate for a left back and made an excellent signing to capture Nacho Monreal from Malaga. The deal has been reported at €10 million, a rare outlay of cash by Arsenal in January, but a necessary one with their problems at left back and their six place position in the Premier League table.
The only downside for Arsenal in this move is that Monreal is cup tied and will not be eligible for the Champions League knockout stages, leaving the Gunners to pray Gibbs can get fit for their round of 16 tie versus Bayern Munich.
While Arsenal are thrilled to have captured Monreal, Malaga's decision to sell the left back is curious. The deal will come in well short of his €20 million release clause and Malaga have a battle on their hands in the league and in the Champions League, where they are matched with Porto in the round of 16.
This sale by Malaga appears to be the result of the club's financial problems, which is a shame. Those issues got them banned from European competition next season and now may cost them Monreal. But Malaga's loss is Arsenal's gain as they solve their pesky left back problem with a fine signing.