Via Sport Witness comes news from Catalan daily Sport that Denis Suarez’s loan deal to Arsenal is almost complete – and the good news is that there will be no obligation for us to make the deal permanent.

One of the sticking points in negotiations has been Barcelona’s desire to sell the player, but with funds limited and earmarked for other targets this summer, the Gunners have held firm.

It’s likely that we’ll pay a loan fee for the midfielder, and we may well have an option to purchase if we like what we see, but if not we can send him back at the end of the season.

Now, it’s reported that just personal terms with Arsenal have to be agreed, something which really shouldn’t be an issue.

The 25 year old has been a peripheral figure at the Camp Nou this season, barely playing in La Liga, and with Unai Emery keen to bolster his squad this month, it’s a deal that suits all parties.

Speaking ahead of the Chelsea game, the head coach touched on possible transfers, saying, “The club is working.Transfers with something special can help us, and we are looking, with the possibility of one player and if we can take him to help us in one position on the field, maybe we can.”

Raul Sanllehi’s links with Barcelona, and the fact Emery knows the player from his time with Sevilla, should ensure the deal gets done, and while it might not be the most exciting transfer of all time, we need all hands on deck as we look to get our season back on track.

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GYWE
GYWE

The new Kim Kallstrom

BidOnLard
BidOnLard

Well if he plays one game and that is the UL final and scores the winning penalty – who are to complain of the new Kallstrom

GYWE
GYWE

Turn up on loan in January, score penalty in FA Cup semi-final win, go down in history. Simple.

Chamackhyungpark
Chamackhyungpark

suarez has a key attribute that a most of other midfields don’t. Pace! Hopefully he can add some speed to the rather pedestrian stuff we have been seeing recently

Double98
Double98

No obligation???
“and the good news is that there will be obligation for us to make the deal permanent.”

Lets hope he’s like Julio Baptiste from the one time he played (well for us) all the time and averages 4 goals a game

Rob67
Rob67

If it is just a loan with no obligation to buy, then this is a decent bit of business with Danny out for the season. We could do with more of course – notably a defender. But we are – like it or not – in the position of having to make the best of the very little we can afford.

Dan Burcea
Dan Burcea

Fair enough!

myrtle
myrtle

I watched Barca last night and he missed a shocker from 6 yards. Let’s hope he puts that all behind him and comes here with a point to prove.

Mpls
Mpls

Auba’s missed a few from 6, so he’s in good company!

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger

No Poop?

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

There is always poop 💩

Ya gooner
Ya gooner

When ozil doesn’t play against city: Emery – ‘we have suarez’.

In all seriousness though a loan deal makes sense, and this signing is more than I expected this jan to be honest. Let’s go for top 4 with what we have and support the team during these turbulent times.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

He’s a winger. Has nothing to do with Ozil.

martin
martin

He’s a central midfielder not a winger

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Emery will probably use him on the wing!

Ealing
Ealing

Or as defender

GraeB
GraeB

Can’t do worse than current defenders!

Ibbo
Ibbo

Was at the Barcelona game yesterday and he came on for 20 mins or so on the left wing. Seemed to have really quick feet and didn’t mind taking defenders on at all. I’m guessing that’s what emery wants to bring to this team as apart from Iwobi we don’t really have anyone who can do that. His end product needs work though. Missed a couple of chances including a glaring miss. Did always look to get into space off the ball to be open for passes in the final third though. Also worth noting it’s probably easier to play when your strike partners are Messi and Suarez against a tired Levante.

Mpls
Mpls

Quick feet, left wing, needs work on end product.
Now why does that ring a bell?

I hope the Spanish Iwobi (or the Iwobi Iwobi) can also perform on the right.

Players on the left or left biased:
Iwobi
Aubamayang
Ozil
Kolasinac as wingback

Right?
Hector
Mkhi (Crocked)
Riess Nelson (on loan)
Wele (crocked)

So, Hector.

Aubamayang and Ozil are not effective from the right. They’re both far stronger from the left.

Mpls
Mpls

Heh, that unintentionally sounded negative- I literally mean it when I say I hope one can bring us something on the right.

Assshavin
Assshavin

In my opinion its a great signing. Just what we need to help keep possession in midfield. He hasnt had the best time at Barcelona, but that doesnt necessarily mean he wont be good for us.

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

Andrew must know something we don’t as he’s been incredibly down on Denis Suarez from day 1.
I remember the day when signing a player from Barcelona’s first team was considered a success. Jesus you’d think we were getting a 35 year-old from Boreham wood. He’s just coming into his prime and has played for every Spainish age group. I can’t see a negative.

Mootilated
Mootilated

This actually makes a lot of sense. I am sure there will be a clause in the contract that will allow the purchase to be finalised at the end of the season if the loan works out and we thin out the squad a bit.

Arseman
Arseman

Is it going through now because we offered 1p more than the original fee?

And_Unai_Said..
And_Unai_Said..

Stop talking out of your Arseman.

Matty Cakes
Matty Cakes

This will be a good piece of business if we get it through. LANSbutnotLANS

Savage
Savage

Finally Emery getting to sign his own type of players and making the team his own

Alex
Alex

We had 22 unbeaten games with a team that wasn’t his then? Not that bad.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

We did, but apparently that doesn’t count any more now we’ve lost a couple of games!

K9ine
K9ine

He will come good. Hope it works

SB Still
SB Still

Hmm Suarez will add to our midfield options, I wonder what it does to our existing hierarchy. If the reports are to be believed, this is one of Emery’s transfers rather than Mislintat’s. Also does this put more pressure on the already strained Ozil situation!

We were trying to move away from the model of Manager to Head Coach – this transfer window seems to like most others under Wenger!

Mpls
Mpls

Raul Sanllehi joined us from Barca. We should use any avenues available.

Rich
Rich

We needed a right sided forward, Emery knows exactly what he’s getting, he’s been over here before with City, so he should settle pretty quickly, he also knows the managers methods, so he’ll just need game time for match sharpness.

On the highlight reels on YouTube he looks absolutely rapid with a good first touch, this looks like a sensible piece of risk free business

allezkev
allezkev

Just in time for Man Utd in the FACup and he’ll know all about them having spent time at City.

Hopefully he rips it up and we complete the signing next summer.

J to the C
J to the C

Why do Barca and Arsenal insist on (for the most part) buying each other’s castoffs?

Anonymarse
Anonymarse

We usually get the better bargain

Fiers d'être Bleus
Fiers d'être Bleus

Still baffled that we sold the Vermaelen..

MeSoHornsey
MeSoHornsey

I’m baffled they bought him. Vermaelen was the best bit of business I’ve ever seen. He’d suffered constant injury and crisis of form for the previous 2 to 3 years straight.

Fiers d'être Bleus
Fiers d'être Bleus

Bollocks.. meant to write: “Still baffled that we sold THEM Vermaelen” – as in I can’t believe they were actually willing to that amount of money for him!
But yeah, I agree; possibly the only time Arsenal managed to sell a player and not hate the price he was sold for.

Micky Tayrian
Micky Tayrian

I love the enthusiasm this signing is generating. “Hooray, we don’t need to keep him next year, this is the best day ever!!!”

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

It’s actually a step in the right direction. Instead of being hung out to dry and forced to buy a player that might not work…we get to try before we buy!

Micky Tayrian
Micky Tayrian

I know I’m probably being optimistic here but if we had youtube and all the footy coverage we have now 20 years ago I doubt we’d be that chipper about a certain Thierry Henry who’d flopped at Juventus, or Milan’s reserve midfielder Patrick Vieira or that perennial crock Marc Overmars. And who the hell is this french bloke with a pony tail?

Fiers d'être Bleus
Fiers d'être Bleus

And some swedish bloke from Halmstads?! Who’s ever heard of him?!

food for thought
food for thought

can he play the santi role?

Timsh
Timsh

I believe he could from what I have seen.
Although, thinking about it, no one can replace Santi.
Haven’t seen a two-footed player like him in that position. The only one who is equally two-footed is Dembele.

A Different George
A Different George

Which Dembele? Seriously.

Pradeep Kachhala
Pradeep Kachhala

Sometimes the most unheralded signings turn out to be the best

Scott P
Scott P

Nacho Monreal springs to mind

Cracked Lunar
Cracked Lunar

a great signing for the club, a bad news for Mesut Özil

Merlin’s Panini
Merlin’s Panini

Given Emery has no inclination to play Elneny, got rid of Wilshere, wants to get rid of Ozil and Ramsey is leaving I think midfield will see at least two investments in the summer.
I hope Suarez does well for us and earns a permanent move. If Barcelona wanted him before and given his still relatively young age, he could work out very well for us. Just hope we don’t lose out on him if he storms it.
I also hope we stop the five at the back rubbish and start pressing in midfield more like we were before things started going wrong.

jw1
jw1

Bears a slight resemblance to Ramsey too.

jw1

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

“the Gunners have held firm.” What is this madness?? 🙂

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

I’ve seen the future!

Badaab
Badaab

Going to hold off on calling this good until I see him holding up the shirt, a forced smile on his face as Raul stands next to him beaming like he’s solved all the club’s problems.

Mekus
Mekus

Sarcastically humorous.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Hopefully the club can get this over the line soon.

Like many of you, I’ve been wondering what Suarez would bring to the team, and if there are any reasons Emery is keen on the signing, beyond the fact that Suarez has played under him before and is presumably familiar with UE’s tactical and stylistic requirements, instructions, etc (especially given that, as Blogs has noted, his career goal + assist numbers are a little underwhelming 9G + 16A in 110 league apps).

Here’s one possible theory:

Although there is still uncertainty at the moment about what kind of playing style Emery actually wants to implement, I think it’s fair to say that there are at least two trends that have emerged so far this season:

1) UE’s use of Iwobi suggests that he likes to play inverted wingers who are good at carrying the ball forward (usually to feed passes to an overlapping FB or WB) – I think that this may have been the role Emery initially had planned for Ozil on the right flank (and which, to a certain extent, he implemented with Mkhi when Ozil/Ramsey played at AMC).

2) As 7amKickOff & Scott Willis have noted, Emery seems to be trying to change Arsenal from a team that mostly prioritizes interceptions in defensive play (one of Koscielny’s great skills) to a team that tackles more often (the tackling numbers went up quite a bit from the average rate under Wenger earlier this season, but may have dropped off a little now).

What does this have to do with Suarez? Well, his dribbling and tackling stats seem to reflect UE’s preferences (for ball-carrying wingers who can tackle), and so hopefully give us some sort of indication that (i) UE is in fact clear in his mind about what kind of playing style he wants to implement (I know some fans are starting to feel doubtful about this), and (ii) Suarez is just the kind of player UE needs to implement this style, and so will hopefully be integrated into the squad pretty quickly.

The numbers (and reasons for optimism!):

Suarez is a decent dribbler with a career average of 1.8/3.9 successful dribbles p/90 (1.7/3.8 p/90 under Emery at Sevilla – for comparison, this season in the league Iwobi averages 2.4/4.5 dribbles p/90, Mkhi 0.9/2.6 p/90, Ozil 1/1.6 p/90, Ramsey 1/1.6 p/90). For someone who plays mostly at LW or AMC, Suarez tackles quite well too, with a career average of 1.6/2.9 successful tackles p/90 (slightly lower at 1.1/2.6 p/90 under Emery at Sevilla – for comparison, this season in the league Iwobi is tackling at 1.1/1.8 p/90, Mkhi at 1.9/2.8 p/90, Ozil at 0.7/1.2 p/90, Ramsey 2.1/3.6 p/90).

At the very least, I think these stats give us a good indication of what Emery wants from his attacking midfielders in wide areas. What I found most interesting, though, is how similar Suarez’s p/90 statistical profile is to Iwobi’s – particularly when you take into account that both have played roughly the same amout of league football in their careers (just over 100 apps), mostly starting at LW, but sometimes at AMC or RW.

Suarez: 1.66 key passes p/90; 0.20 assists p/90 (0.24 xA p/90); 0.14 goals p/90; 1.49 shots p/90.

Iwobi: 1.61 key passes p/90; 0.25 assists p/90 (0.21 xA p/90); 0.18 goals p/90; 2.07 shots p/90.

So Iwobi dribbles and shoots a bit more, Suarez tackles a bit more, and they create chances at a very similar rate (which makes you think that, assuming Suarez signs, he will either compete with Iwobi for the LW spot, or play a similar role at RW or even AMC, as Mkhi has occasionally done).

For those interested in how our other offensive midfielders compare to Iwobi and Suarez on these p/90 measures:

Mkhi (EPL only): 2.04 key passes p/90; 0.25 assists p/90 (0.28 xA p/90); 0.25 goals p/90; 2.25 shots p/90.

Ozil: 3.47 key passes p/90; 0.35 assists p/90 (0.36 xA p/90); 0.21 goals p/90; 1.33 shots p/90.

Ramsey: 1.63 key passes p/90; 0.3 assists p/90 (0.23 xA p/90); 0.22 goals p/90; 2.65 shots p/90.

One last nugget for those who’ve read this far: something that really surprised me when looking at these stats is that, in his first two seasons at Arsenal (2014-16), Ozil was tackling at about 1.1/2.2(!) successful tackles p/90 (i.e. pretty much the same rate as Iwobi under UE this season, and not too far off Eriksen’s career average of about 1.3/2.7 p/90). So, while Ozil’s defensive stats have dropped off badly since 2016, he’s shown he can tackle before, and there may just be some hope for those who want to see him adapt to UE’s style.

TL;DR version: Don’t worry, Suarez might turn out to be just the signing Emery needs! ^__^

Footnote: I know tackles and dribbles p/90 aren’t necessarily the most precise or informative statistical measures, but in this context I do think they at least give us some insight into how Emery wants to set the team up, and especially what he seems to expect from his attacking midfielders/wide forwards.

Fatgooner
Fatgooner

This post isn’t long enough.

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Very true. But not to worry – it’s just the first section of a 15 part post.

Christopher Wreh
Christopher Wreh

Are you Santori in disguise

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Wow…just wow

Frog
Frog

TLDR

Runzac
Runzac

tl;dr maybe

Michael Ginty
Michael Ginty

Top post

Mpls
Mpls

Cmon Wrigglesworth, can’t you just spout some unfounded accusations? We hate facts!

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth
The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

@ Michael Ginty: Cheers!

@ Mpls: Don’t worry – I’ve got plenty of unfounded accusations and even more totally ungrounded generalizations in reserve for whenever Arsenal’s next loss occurs!

(I just hope I don’t need them today).

Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

His YouTube reel looks good although not a patch on Ramsey’s.:-(

Prakhar Tripathi
Prakhar Tripathi

His natural position has been Attacking midfielder, whose skill set allowed him to operate on wings effectively, similar mould to Isco.

Barcelona training methods on him should insure we get a midfielder who can help us keep possession and break press with intelligent passing.

With our great forwards, he could be the guy Emery wants to play in the 10 role. Since he already uses double DMs.

Important signing.

santori
santori

If we keep the back 3 for reasons other than we do not have the best solution at the back at the moment even with Sokratis, then we will need someone who can play the channel between the main striker and the wingback.

This is where Dennis could find his work with his tight control.

He also has potential function for us deeper in midfield with Torreira and Granit (and Guendouzi). We need to ensure we can sustain the energy levels and the diligence in tracking players running in from midfield.

santori
santori

I certainly hope Raul can bring this one across the line.

Suarez looks very useful both in our deep midfield and in the forward positions. His versatility will certainly come in handy plus his ability to get by his man on dribbling skills which we desperately need.

CM to me is still an issue but maybe more one of sustainability.

Granit is much improved but still prone to error without the right player next to him to cover his faults.

Torreira nominally looks like the player we should play next to Granit but in recent games (Soton, BHA and Liverpool), he has been poor.

It could be an issue of fatigue maybe with getting use to the relentless pace of the PL taking its early toll.

Guendouzi also has mistakes, not tracking runners from deep has revisited us yet again, but on the flip side, he is a 19yr old learning his trade.

So another experienced player like Dennis to come in and hold the ball for us, will be more than useful.

Up in the attacking end, we have question marks over the future of both Ozil and Ramsey (likely to conclude a free to Juve at 300K per week)

Mhki has been less than stellar.

Iwobi is about the only effective performer out there but as typical of a young player (at 30K a week I might add for those who like to get on his back…contrast Elneny at 55k) and the style of proactive play he engages in, he will make mistakes and will have to work on consistency.

Dennis may also have some use for us on right side of attacking midfield tucked in just beside Bellerin in a 3-4-3.

Hope Raul can work his ex Barca charm on this one. We should also get an option to buy in the summer.

Limey
Limey

Can’t help being cynical until this is announced.Looks very much like an Oil replacement.

Man
Man

Loan. Release.

Man
Man

Alberto mendez

Paul
Paul

When did Barcelona join the German 4th division to compare this with Alberto Mendez!?

Jack but
Jack but

Why don’t we just rehabilitate mezut Ozil?

Matt
Matt

Jesus how entitled have we become that a Barca player isn’t exciting? Deluded

Hank Scoprio
Hank Scoprio

Jesus how entitled have we become that a Barca fringe player isn’t exciting