Championship Play-Off Final: Michael Owen’s View
The Denis Suarez to Arsenal saga looked like it wasn’t going to be resolved in this current transfer window, but a determination from all parties to get the deal over the line has seen the 25-year-old Galician move to North London, initially on loan, with a purchase option in place at the end of the season.
Although the Gunners arguably need to look at strengthening their back four aswell, Suarez will at least complement what Unai Emery has in his midfield.
For example, there’s no doubting the player’s work ethic. He’ll get at opponents from first whistle until last and is always looking to take responsibility and show for the ball. That’s crucial for Arsenal as they head into the latter part of the season.
Mesut Ozil has found himself out of favour in this campaign because of his perceived laziness, but Emery knows exactly what he’s buying in Suarez given that they’ve worked together – at Sevilla – before.
Certainly not frightened of going in where it hurts, Suarez will, nevertheless, look to concentrate on using his technical skillset to flesh out opportunities for his side.
As someone who can pick a pass, his support in attack, in terms of supply to Lacazette and Aubameyang, will be crucial.
His versatility is often overlooked too.
He can play as a No.10, out wide and as a supporting striker if needed, albeit he needs to work on his conversion of chances, which is the weakest part of his game.
That said, he’s not short on self-confidence, and it won’t take long for him to earn himself a regular starting spot because having a coach fully behind him will ensure that Suarez finally produces his best work.
It has been said previously that Emery is a little too detailed and intense in terms of his pre-match briefings and the way in which he wants his players to play, but there’s no doubt that the midfielder responded during their time together in Andalusia.
By contrast, since Ernesto Valverde has been in charge at the Camp Nou, Suarez has barely got a look in, so this can only be seen as a positive step from his point of view and one he needed to make.
It’s worth dwelling on the fact that he may take a few games to get up to the speed and physicality of the Premier League, but supporters shouldn’t hold that against him.
Arsenal are getting a player for what would be a bargain fee in the summer, should they take up the purchase option, and with Aaron Ramsey on the move and Ozil seemingly having no future at the club, there’s every chance Suarez can be a fixture