Why did Arsenal sign Denis Suarez?

Arsenal’s hands were tied in the January transfer window. With the Gunners’ season on the brink of falling away, they really could have used some mid-season reinforcements. Instead, Unai Emery was restricted to loan additions only and so Denis Suarez was the club’s only January addition, joining Arsenal from Barcelona until the end of the season.

Suarez had struggled for game time at Barca this season, but the midfielder looked to be a good fit for the Gunners, despite the short term nature of his move to North London. Two months later, though, and the Spaniard has only made a handful of appearances for Arsenal.

Denis Suarez

Indeed, Suarez has made only six appearances for the Gunners since joining from Barcelona. He has yet to be given a single start. So this begs the question – why did Arsenal sign Suarez in the first place? Was he just a signing for the sake of a signing? Will he return to Barcelona in the summer without even being given a chance to show what he is all about?

“Denis is improving every day and his quality can give us a lot,” explained Emery in a recent interview. “He cannot play 90 minutes because he needs rhythm. One possibility is he starts and knows that [he would come off] or he comes off the bench. He is getting to know us. His adaptation needs time.”

The thing is, Arsenal don’t have time to get the best out of Suarez. They only have him until the end of the season and as things stand there is not enough evidence to suggest the Gunners should make a permanent move for the 25-year-old at the end of the season. The whole thing, right now, looks like a waste of time.

Suarez fits the profile of the sort of player Arsenal are looking for. He is energetic, provides drive, but is good with the ball at his feet. At 25, he is still relatively young and so he holds some sell-on value. But Arsenal were not able to secure Suarez on a permanent deal in January, so what’s the point of having such a player on the bench?

On whether Suarez could move to the Emirates Stadium this summer, Emery recently said: “For me so far, each match and each week can change a lot. We are every match doing a test. We are very demanding to work hard, be focused and show everyone we can improve and be better every day. Summer is very far away.” How many tests are taking place with Suarez on the bench, though?

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