Denis Suarez joins Arsenal on loan from Barcelona 
Photo: Getty Images - NurPhoto

Denis Suarez joins Arsenal on loan from Barcelona 

Arsenal have completed their first transfer of the January window after Barcelona confirmed that Denis Suarez has joined the Gunners on an initial loan deal.

Andy Preston

Having been in pursuit of Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez for the majority of the January window, Arsenal have completed the loan signing with an option to buy the Spaniard for £18m in the summer.

The 25-year-old has made 46 league appearances for the Catalan giants since 2016 but has fallen out of favour with Ernesto Valverde having only made two league appearances this season with Barcelona willing to sell him.

Reunited with Emery

Suarez has previously played under the leadership of Arsenal boss Unai Emery, with the two linking up at Sevilla as Suarez joined on loan from Barcelona for the 2014/15 season.

Emery has previously stated his interest in the player in press conferences and has publicised his fondness for him.

Suarez featured 31 times in La Liga for Emery’s Sevilla team with a return of two league goals.

He also helped them to lift the Europa League that season, scoring three goals in nine appearances in the competition as Sevilla asserted their European dominance under Emery.

What will Suarez bring to Arsenal?

Arsenal have been crying out for a winger this season with Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi and Aaron Ramsey often being deployed on both wings with all four arguably more comfortable in other positions.

Suarez has the versatility to play on either wing and was predominantly played on the left-wing during his loan spell at Sevilla under Emery.

However, Suarez’s most natural position is in the centre of midfield as an attacking outlet and has many of the desired qualities of previous Arsenal attacking central midfielders, possessing great technical ability.

With Ramsey set to leave on a free transfer in the summer to Juventus and Ozil’s Arsenal future in jeopardy, the ability for Suarez to play in a central position may become available next season.

But while Emery’s options are limited for natural wingers, it is likely that Suarez will also be used as a winger for the remainder of the season.

That is unless Arsenal are able to attain any more January signings, with the Gunners still reportedly interested in Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic and former Atletico Madrid winger Yannick Carrasco, who is currently plying his trade in the Chinese Super League.

Option for permanent move

It has emerged that Arsenal will have the option to purchase Suarez at the end of his loan deal if they wish.

Barcelona released a statement regarding the transfer of Suarez to Arsenal: “FC Barcelona have also agreed a loan deal for Suarez with Arsenal for the remainder of the 2018/19 season. The Premier League club will pay the player’s salary during this time and the agreement includes an option to buy."

It seemed earlier in the window that Barcelona were reluctant to let Suarez move on loan unless there was an obligation for a permanent transfer, however it appears the Gunners have got their way with an option to buy rather than an obligation.