We are now in the early weeks of the Winter transfer window, many teams are being linked with players across all continents including Arsenal for players based in Spain or even China. A transfer that seems to have been lurking for some weeks now involves Barcelona starlet Denis Suarez to Arsenal.
To find out more about the player I spoke to Spanish football expert Jamie Kemp.
Denis Suarez is the name on many Arsenal fans lips, tell us a bit about him, what is the perception of him in Spain right now?
I think most view him as a player of noteworthy talent, but one who is really coming to a pivotal juncture of his career. Suarez is 25 now and has only really had one season of professional football where he’s been able to play regularly (back in 2015-16 with Villarreal).
Without a move from Barcelona – where he clearly isn’t thought of as a concrete rotation player – Suarez risks missing out on realizing the true potential he has as a player. With such little regular football under his belt, we can only keep referring to him as a talent; one whose ceiling we’ll only be able to firmly establish once he’s playing every week.
What kind of player do you think Suarez is? he’s played in a number of positions in the past couple of years, what do you feel is his best position?
Suarez’s main strengths lie in his technical ability. For someone who has spent considerable time at Barcelona, he’s of course a player who likes to get lots of touches on the ball and be involved heavily in the team’s possession play.
At Villarreal in 2015-16 – the only real full season of his career to date – Suarez was mostly played on the left side of a 4-4-2 system. That time under Marcelino probably provided him with some good things in terms of discipline and defensive responsibilities, but likely isn’t his optimal position in terms of extracting the best of his abilities.
Long-term I would imagine Suarez would be looking to play either as #10 or as a left-sided central midfielder in a 4-3-3, much like the role that Andres Iniesta played at Barcelona for many years.
Finally with Arsenal currently in a state of flux and regeneration do you feel Denis Suarez could be a good signing for them and fit in well?
I think Suarez would be a nice addition for Arsenal in the longer-term, but it depends on the price and what the Gunners will be looking from him in the early stages. The 25-year-old isn’t a player who will be an automatic starter from day one, given his relative lack of football and the competition against players of similar ability.
Although he has spent time at Manchester City’s academy as a youngster, I think he would also need some time to get used to the tempo and often-frenetic nature of the Premier League. He’s a player who likes to receive passes to feet and help the team control the game through possession of the ball, rather than somebody who might excel in terms of counter-attacking and quick transitions.
Emery knows plenty about Suarez having previously worked with him at Sevilla, so the manager will certainly have ideas on how his abilities can translate within this Arsenal side. The fact that there’s considerable interest on the part of Emery – having had six months to learn about the Premier League and its various challenges – should be a good indicator for what Suarez might be able to bring to the Emirates.
You can find Jamie Kemp on Twitter talking all things Spanish football among other things at @jamiemkemp