Player admits he refused to play for Arsenal in North London derby

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One of the transfers you may have missed (you definitely didn’t) in the last week was Nacho Monreal leaving Arsenal to join Real Sociedad.

The Spanish defender called time on a six-and-a-half-year spell at the Emirates on the weekend, electing to head back to his homeland in search of regular first-team football at the end of his career.

The Spaniard was likely to find himself out of favour under Unai Emery this season, particularly once summer signing Kieran Tierney is fit once again.

Before the move was completed, one of the reports we covered stated Unai Emery was in control of the situation, and it would only happen on his command.

The issue was that he wanted to use Monreal in the North London derby on Sunday and the player has now admitted that was the case.

Noticias de Navarra covered his press conference today, and Monreal confirmed Emery had asked him to play in Arsenal’s meeting with Tottenham, “but the most sensible thing was not to do it to avoid any unforeseen event”.

That was probably a sensible move from Monreal, who will have seen what happened to Leroy Sané this summer and wanted to avoid the same fate.

The German looked all set to leave Manchester City for Bayern Munich but ended up missing out on the move when he picked up an injury in the Community Shield victory over Liverpool.

That’s a nightmare scenario, and it was smart from Monreal to avoid tempting fate, although Arsenal fans are likely to be less than pleased by his decision to put himself ahead of the needs of the club.

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