What is happening with Denis Suarez?
When Arsenal were first linked with Denis Suarez in January, it was clear that Unai emery was pushing for a move for him because he no longer wished to utilise Aaron Ramsey or Mesut Ozil.
There was talk at the time that had Arsenal completed the move early enough in the month, that they might release Ramsey to Juventus earlier – making a couple of million from the deal whilst boasting the Italian’s Champions League chances.
It was a long drawn out transfer process.
Arsenal wanted the Spaniard with an option to buy at the end of the season, Barcelona wanted to either insert a compulsory purchase order in the deal, or have Suarez sign a new deal to protect them from losing him on a free in 18 months.
In the end Suarez agreed a new contract with Barcelona, and Arsenal secured their man on a loan with an option to buy.
It is now two months to the day since Suarez completed his move to Arsenal and he is still awaiting his first start.
To date Suarez only has a handful of substitute appearances to his name. Meanwhile Ramsey and Ozil have returned to Emery’s first team plans – starting 9 of the last 10 games between them.
It is odd watching Ramsey or Ozil starting pretty much every game whilst the man signed to “replace” them is on the bench, getting 10 minutes here, 12 minutes there.
So what is happening with Suarez?
The first theory is that he is still very much part of Emery’s future plans. That we moved for an early loan deal for him so that he could spend 6 months acclimatising to the Premier League whilst Arsenal have both Ramsey and Ozil still at the club.
He would not be under pressure to play, and could spend his time getting both physically and mentality prepared for the Premier League. Bulking up in the gym and physical training sessions meaning that come August, he is ready to go.
This argument is logical, and we have previously seen Arsenal do this before with Emmanuel Adebayor and Jose Reyes. Both signed in January with the view of getting prepared for the next season.
With Ramsey joining Juventus at the end of the season, Arsenal will need a replacement. Suarez will be that replacement and by the time August comes, he would be fully acclimatised to the Premier League.
Getting Suarez in now takes the pressure off the summer, meaning we can concentrate on signing a centre back, left back and winger, without having to be considered about replacing Ramsey.
A second argument is that he is not fully fit.
Prior to joining Arsenal, he had played just 10 games this season for Barcelona, with his only 2 starts coming in the Copa del Rey against Spanish 3rd tier side Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa.
To have barely played in 2018/19 is a problem.
With the added physicality of the Premier League, Suarez would have arrived nowhere near match sharp, and it is taking him a while to get up to speed.
The final theory is that having pursued Suarez, Emery no longer fancies him.
Emery has seen the man he managed at Sevilla up close at London Colney. Alongside Ramsey and Ozil and he is clearly inferior. Not up to it. Not a player for a top tier challenging team.
Having seen him train amongst his peers, Emery does not see a future for the 25-year-old at Arsenal and has already made the decision not to make the move permanent in the summer. He will pursue other options to replace Ramsey; like Christopher Nkunku, whom Arsenal were also heavily linked with in January.
Suarez has become a short term option to a problem that never really existed, and in the summer Arsenal will decide to pursue Nkunku to replace Ramsey, and return Suarez to Barcelona.
The situation of Denis Suarez at Arsenal is interesting, and he is seemingly no closer to starting a game for Arsenal then he was whilst a Barcelona player.
With the club chasing 3rd place, and Ozil and Ramsey returning to Emery’s 1st team plans, I doubt we will see Suarez start a game this season.