Unai Emery says that Denis Suarez is not yet ready to play 90 minutes of Premier League football, but insists the January loan signing can still make an impact.
The Barcelona man joined last month until the end of the season, but had played very little for the Spanish champions, and thus lacked genuine match fitness.
However, the Arsenal boss says that Suarez could still start games as he builds that up, or be introduced later as a substitute.
“I think Denis Suarez is improving first with the adaptation every day and then his quality can give us a lot,” he said ahead of tomorrow night’s game against Bournemouth.
“I think it’s not okay today to play 90 minutes, because he needs rhythm, but one possibility is to start tomorrow knowing that.
“Or, stay on the bench and after he can help us. He is working every day, improving and knowing us.
“My philosophy is that adaptation needs time and after, little-by-little he will grow confidence and know his teammates in training and after playing matches.
“For him, all the minutes he can get to help us are very important. On Sunday for example my idea was to give him some minutes, but after recent injuries, I cannot give him these minutes.
“But tomorrow is another opportunity.”
As for whether he’s thinking about making the deal permanent in the summer, Emery was not to be drawn, preferring to concentrate on the task of finishing in the top four and going far in the Europa League.
“For me, it’s so far away,” he continued. “The football, each match, each week, can change a lot.
“My test as a coach is tomorrow and the players are the same. Our demands are very big demands.
“To work hard, to be with focus for each match to show us and show you, the players, the coaches, that we can improve and we can be better every day.
“For me the summer is so far away.”