Spanish full-back Nacho Monreal got a number of opportunities in the second half of last season owing to the injuries for first choice defender Kieran Gibbs.

The England international’s career appears to have hit a halt in terms of growth. He was once expected to become the future replacement for Ashley Cole at international level. Yet, it has not happened asGibbs will primarily has to concentrate on his club career before thinking about international football. The emergence of Monreal as a viable alternative is threatening to make significant changes with regard toGibbs’ position in the team.

Monreal, though, says that he is glad to be fighting for the first-team opportunity with a player likeGibbs, who he regards as being top class. Despite joining Arsenal back in 2013, Monreal’s qualities have always been in doubt. This has largely been because he has not been able to get an extended run of games in his preferred full-back position. There were even times when Arsenal’s extraordinary defensive crisis meant that Monreal had to play in the central defensive position. Last season, though, saw the best of Monreal, as he played a crucial factor in the club finishing third in the league.

Monreal ended the campaign with 32 games compared to Kieran Gibbs’ 29 in all competitions.“Kieran is an amazing player. I can imagine it is really difficult for the boss to choose between Kieran and me.Obviously in football, only 11 players can start the game. The boss can choose between him or me. I think this is a good thing for the team. I have to give my best every day in training, or I wouldn’t play.I think in this position, we are lucky as we have two good players. I have played a lot of games this season, I would like to continue,” said Monreal.