Denis Suarez has joined Arsenal on loan from La Liga holders Barcelona until the end of the campaign


The versatile midfielder’s current Barcelona contract runs until June 2021, but the Gunners reserve the right to make the switch permanent at the end of the current season.

Unai Emery’s Arsenal are pretty much a team in transition. They are still ironing out the wrinkles that made them vulnerable under former boss Arsene Wenger while figuring out ways to get to the top of the food chain. The season, so far, hasn’t been that bad. Thanks to Chelsea’s recent slipups, they are back again in a Champions League spot, which they’ll fancy themselves of retaining until the end of the campaign. So, why were they still so desperate to sign Suarez? And what does he exactly bring to the table?

Over the years, the Gunners have earned themselves a reputation for playing an engaging, exciting brand of football. Emery, so far, has tried his best to maintain the flamboyance, but sadly, he hasn’t been able to match his predecessor’s standard. Despite having Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette at their disposal, Arsenal haven’t looked as lethal as they should’ve been, and it’s all down to lack of creativity in the final third.

In the 2018/19 campaign, Arsenal are averaging just 12.7 shots/game — their lowest in 15 seasons. Lacazette and Aubameyang have done superbly to convert from those chances, but if the Londoners are to challenge for silverware in the future, they need to start banging in the goals. In Denis Suarez, they have a player who is capable of coming up with quality final balls, which would certainly help the two forwards to add to their tally.

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Statistically speaking, the 25-year-old isn’t the most prolific in the world, managing 19 goals 29 assists in 165 appearances across all competitions. Expect for the 2014/15 campaign — when he provided 12 assists for Villarreal — he has never touched double digits in goals or assists throughout his career. His biggest asset, however, doesn’t reside in final figures, it’s about his versatility and the ability to pitch in wherever required.

Arsenal really do need a player who provides more accurate final balls, but Unai Emery probably doesn’t expect that from his newest acquisition. With Hector Bellerin ruled out for the rest of the campaign, the Gunners need some inspiration down the right-wing, a player who can bring his team-mates into play while posing enough threat going forward. Unai Emery’s current team don’t have enough players who are keen on taking on defenders, one-on-one. And Suarez, who loves to go on little strolls all by himself, would certainly help Emery’s cause. Suarez’s inclusion will also put more pressure on the team’s only natural number 10, Mesut Ozil. The German has looked out of sorts lately and could do with a little push. To top it off, the Barcelona loanee will also allow Lacazette and Aubameyang to take some time off, help them stay fresh for the business until the end of the season.

Unai Emery knows the player inside and out, thanks to their time together at Sevilla, which would help Suarez settle in at the Emirates. His role is still unclear, but knowing how thin Arsenal are in wide areas, the 25-year-old is likely to be deployed down the right wing, charged with the responsibility of taking the game to the opposition.

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