Unai Emery’s old pupil would add real quality to the Arsenal ranks this January

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11: Denis Suarez of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur at the Camp Nou on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11: Denis Suarez of FC Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League match between FC Barcelona v Tottenham Hotspur at the Camp Nou on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona Spain (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

An analysis of Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez who is rumored to be on his way to The Emirates this January.

Unai Emery has worked with some top players during his time in management and Arsenal may be about to benefit from the Spaniard’s good rapport with one ex-pupil – and no, not Neymar or Kylian Mbappe.

A 20-year-old Denis Suarez registered six goals in his breakthrough season under Emery at Seville. His performances helped the Andalusians add a notch to its collection of Europa League titles and have left the current Arsenal manager keen on a reunion.

The player

Suarez seems to have Barcelona DNA coursing through his veins. He is composed, possesses a velcro touch, and passes the ball around as freely as a joint at Woodstock. That begs the question: why hasn’t he made it at Camp Nou.

Many Catalans scratch their heads while pondering the same question; but hey, it’s not the biggest insult in football not to establish yourself as a regular while wearing the hallowed maroon and blue shirt.

Suarez no doubt has the passing ability to play through the centre but Emery has already stated he would play him as a winger. Wherever deployed in the offense, Suarez does his best work between the lines. He is a proactive live wire and defences must be on red alert when the ball is at his feet.

Suarez has the poise and grace of a typical Spanish attacking midfielder. He rarely looks perturbed in possession and his nimble footwork can take him through hordes of opponents with the ball never straying from his foot.

The midfielder developed a lethal partnership slipping in Cedric Bakambu at Villarreal, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t form similar alliances with the likes of Aubameyang if he enjoys a prolonged run in the Arsenal side.

Suarez can also be useful from dead ball situations and would likely get more of a look in for free kicks at The Emirates than he does at Barcelona.

Will Suarez make the move?

An emotional birthday post on social media was seen as a farewell message by many Arsenal fans. Trusted journalist Sid Lowe even responded to one supporter, claiming ‘[the transfer] is a very strong possibility at this point yes.’

Suarez was also left out of Barcelona’s squad for its trip to Getafe last Sunday, alluding that he is busy packing his bags.

There are, of course, a few stumbling blocks to get over. Barcelona reportedly want the transfer to be permanent; while, Arsenal’s head of football Raul Senllehi would prefer a loan deal and to conduct such a cash exchange in the summer.

But it would be surprising if such issues weren’t ironed out sooner rather than later, as both the player and manager seem desperate for the deal to get done.

Speaking to the official UEFA website back in 2015, Suarez called Emery ‘one of the best coaches around.’

"“He really gets the best out of us … I have been playing for him for a year and I am really happy. He always talks to you, both in good moments – to prevent you being distracted – and bad, to help you recover. The way he treats players is exceptional.”"

While, Emery has publicly talked of his desire to sign a left or right-sided winger, before coolly adding that’s where Suarez played for him at Seville.

Do Arsenal need him?

Of course, taking a holistic view, Arsenal should be focusing on bringing in a defender or two; but they do need a player of Suarez’s mold too.

With Danny Welbeck’s perennial injury woes and Aaron Ramsey on his way out, Arsenal risk becoming a little threadbare in the final third. Suarez would offer genuine offensive quality and, with the fee reported to be somewhere in the region of £14 million, looks an astute and low risk bit of business.

Emery got the best out of him at Seville, and although he hasn’t been playing regularly of late, it’s hard to imagine the player has regressed too much while rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta on a daily basis.

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Suarez seems to have been an up and coming prospect for quite some time now. He still possess his boyish good looks, but at 25 years-of-age the time has come for the itinerant wanderer to settle down in order to reach his true potential. As Arsenal experiences a rebirth under his old tutor, there seems no better place for the Spaniard to achieve this.