Sometimes a move is just not the right fit at the right moment in time. Unfortunately for Denis Suárez, his January loan move to Arsenal from Barcelona has not worked out as he would have hoped. Part of the loan agreement was that Arsenal have the option to sign Suárez on a permanent transfer this summer for around £20 million; however, there is simply no justification for such an expenditure on the part of Arsenal.
The Spanish midfielder was brought in for his ability to play in a multitude of positions. He is adept out wide as a winger as well as a central midfielder. Arsenal were certainly in need of more wide players heading into January, but Unai Emery’s decision to stick with a three-back formation has muddled the importance of dedicated attacking wingers. Rather, Emery has utilized the attacking prowess of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac at wing-back. Yet, one would reasonably assume that there could be a spot for Suarez in areas where Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, and Özil have played, but this has not been the case.
Denis Suárez has only made six appearances across all competitions since joining the Gunners. Of all his appearances, Suárez only played more than twenty minutes on one occasion, the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on February 3rd. The Spaniard was not even on the bench against Watford on Monday night. Unai Emery wanted to bring in Suárez because he was familiar with the player while he was on loan at Emery’s Sevilla. Yet now has not even been able to get a run of games in the side.
When Suárez has gotten the occasional opportunity to play he has made very little impact. This could be down to a number of reasons. Most notable of which is the difficulty of signing players in the January transfer window. For the most part, a majority of players take a period of adjustment to get settled into a club and calibrate to the style of play in a new league. It is odd, however, that, for a player who was brought in solely down to his familiarity with Emery’s desired style of play, he has been unable to challenge the likes of Mkhitaryan and Iwobi for more time on the pitch.
There has continually been comparisons of Denis Suárez’s time at Arsenal with Kim Kallstrom’s questionable January loan move under Arsène Wenger. Kallstrom reportedly joined the Gunners with a suspected back injury and subsequently made only four appearances for Arsenal. While Suárez has made more appearances than Kallstrom and does not have a serious injury, his impact on the pitch has not been noteworthy.
Arsenal now have a straightforward decision regarding Denis Suárez this summer. It is rumored that Emery will have only £40 million should the Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League. The budget does not include any profits from player sales, which they won’t be receiving for Ramsey’s departure to Juventus. Even if Arsenal were to earn a spot in the Champions League, there is unequivocally no reason to sign Suárez on a permanent basis.
The thought that Arsenal would spend half of their budget on a player who has made no impact at the club is illogical. If recent reports that Suárez has recently suffered a nagging groin injury are correct, then there is even further doubt to his future at Arsenal. It is unfortunate to see a player so precipitously fall from the potential ascribed to him after his move to Barcelona, but even Unai Emery does not appear to believe that Suárez can be a worthwhile addition to a team that needs depth out wide.