Arsenal fullback Nacho Monreal claims the confidence shown in him by Arsene Wenger has helped him settle quickly in the Premier League.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was a January deadline-day signing from Malaga with Andre Santos -- who has since joined Gremio on loan -- out of favor and following an injury to Kieran Gibbs. The former Osasuna left back was thrown straight into the starting lineup just two days later against Stoke, an immediate involvement that Monreal believes helped him adjust to the English game.
"Since I’ve been here the manager has given me a lot of confidence and he’s been starting me," Monreal told the club's official site. "This has been very important for me, because it helps a lot to feel that the manager has faith in me, especially as I’ve just arrived. This in turn this leads to good performances.
"Everything has been challenging in different amounts, because the league is completely different to La Liga. Coming here and not speaking the language, being unable to communicate with my teammates, is one of many difficult situations that is making me grow as a person and as a player.
"It has been tough adapting to the type of football played here in England as the players are a lot more physical. There’s also a different style of play, as I’ve said before there’s an emphasis on reaching your opponent’s goal as quickly as possible.
"I’ve been here two months now and little by little I am adapting to this style of play. I am happy to be here."
There are still aspects of playing in Spain that Monreal misses, but he says his friendship with new teammates and fellow countrymen Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta have helped him settle in a city he has grown to love.
"The worst change for me is the difference between a very hot town in the south of Spain and the freezing cold weather over here!" Monreal said. "However, London is one of the best, perhaps even the best city in Europe. It’s very diverse. You can go out and there are cinemas, theatres ... there’s a lot of choice. Thanks to the help of Santi and Mikel I’m adapting well to the way of life over here and I’m happy."
Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
- Sports & Recreation
- Andre Santos