Arsenal’s Nacho Monreal badly underperformed in the Gunners’ defeat to Crystal Palace, and Monday’s Premier League meeting with Middlesbrough could result in similar treatment from winger Adama Traore unless he’s adequately protected at the back. It’s an area Arsenal need to replace in the summer, but they have no better alternative until the end of the season which could well be capitalised upon by their opponents.
Alexis Sanchez was operating ahead of Monreal in the meeting at Selhurst Park but did little to quell the threat of Wilfried Zaha down the flank. It meant Monreal was left one-on-one with the Ivorian international and ruthlessly exposed as Zaha jinked inside and out multiple times to get balls into the box and create chances for himself. Traore has pace and expert dribbling ability to give Monreal the run-around next week if he isn’t dealt with.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will have to address the threat and name his side accordingly to ensure Traore can’t isolate Monreal down the flank. Arsenal have lost their last four away games ahead of the Middlesbrough clash, and despite the hosts enduring a 14-game winless run, Arsenal could lose if they don’t stop Traore. Arsenal are 4/7 to win against Middlesbrough, but unless Traore’s threat isn’t nullified down Monreal’s side, the Gunners could be in for a difficult outing.