What should Arsenal expect from Denis Suarez?

Deniz Suarez

After sluggishly entering the market space, Arsenal have settled for Suarez. Although not a permanent deal, Denis Suarez joins the Gunners on loan from Barcelona for the rest of the season.

The Spanish midfielder extended his contract at Camp Nou until 2021 before sealing a deadline-day switch to the Premier League. Suarez will be reunited with Emery, whom he worked under at Sevilla in 2014/15.

“I have a very good relationship with Unai Emery,” Suarez said in a club interview. “I think he’s a very demanding coach and one of the best coaches in the world right now – I’ve been saying that for a while.”

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Suarez struggled for game time since returning to Barca in 2016. While he managed to sneak into the team in previous two seasons, he has been on the fringes this campaign. The 25-year-old has just 17 minutes of league football under his belt. He was only deemed as an ‘impact sub’ on six occasions throughout the campaign.

What will he bring to Arsenal?

Suarez brings a lot of positivity to the Emirates. Blessed with remarkable passing ability, he creates opportunities at will.  The Spanish play-maker averaged 2.2 chances per 90 minutes in La Liga last term. Not even Mesut Ozil has matched that rate of creativity this season.

It’s not just his passing that sets him apart, though. Suarez has the ability to ghost past defenders in one-on-one situations. The Gunners have craved such a talented player with exceptional dribbling numbers as the team’s ability to do this has declined in each of the last five seasons. Emery’s team is averaging just 7.3 dribbles per 90.

Last season, Suarez made 3.2 successful dribbles per 90 minutes in La Liga. Only Lionel Messi (5.6) and Ousmane Dembele (3.9) bettered that figure. He is seventh in the entire division among player to play a minimum of 500 minutes.

Quick, skilful and direct Suarez’s versatility will be an asset to Emery. Although best suited to playing behind the striker, the Spaniard is equally adept anywhere in attack.