Arsenal have confirmed Nacho Monreal’s departure for Real Sociedad, with the defender having signed a two-year contract.
Monreal had been at Arsenal since January 2013 following a €10m transfer from La Liga side Malaga.
The Spanish full-back went on to make 251 appearances in all competitions for the club. He even provided 20 assists, and scored 10 goals of his own during a six-and-a-half-year spell at the Emirates Stadium.
Despite Unai Emery’s arrival to replace Arsene Wenger in 2018, Monreal remained a regular member of the Arsenal line-up. He also started in all three of the Gunners’ opening Premier League games this season and captained them in the 2-1 win over Burnley on August 17.
With his old deal expiring next summer, however, Monreal’s future was in doubt during the current transfer window.
And now Arsenal have confirmed that the 33-year-old has returned to his homeland with Sociedad.
“During his time with us, Nacho played in his natural left-back position and also in central defence,” read a club statement.
“He won three FA Cups, three Community Shields and played a big part in our run to the Europa League final last season.
“A full international since 2009, Nacho was part of the Spain squad at the 2018 World Cup. He’s made 22 appearances for his country.
“We would like to thank Nacho for his contribution to the club and everyone at Arsenal wishes him the best for his future.”
Sociedad also released a short statement confirming their capture of Monreal. While no transfer fee has been disclosed, the club will present their newest signing to the media on Monday.
Imanol Alguacil’s side, meanwhile, lost 2-0 to high-flyers Athletic Bilbao in Friday night’s Basque derby. Inaki Williams and Raul Garcia’s first-half goals ensured the visitors of a first defeat in La Liga this season.
It leaves Sociedad with four points from their opening three league games.
For six-and-a-half years of service, for 250 appearances, for 10 goals, for 20 assists, for three FA Cups, for those equalisers at Old Trafford and Wembley, for your unwavering consistency, and for being our very own #LaCabra, we just want to say…
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 31, 2019