Why is Arsenal signing a Barca fringe player on a short term loan?

Arsenal have brought in ex-Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez on loan till the end of the season. The Spaniard extended his contract with the Blaugrana until 2021 before making the move to North London. Arsenal have an option to make the transfer permanent at the end of the season. Is this a good deal for the Gunners?

See also: The Champions League draw !

Suarez has only two appearances in La Liga this season, eight in all competitions, so he is a fringe player at the club. Barcelona prolonged his contract before sending him out on loan. At a first look, it seems like the Spanish team is using Arsenal as a means of getting their player some game time, not quite different from when top clubs send out young players on loan to gain experience at lesser clubs, where playing time is guaranteed. However, the Londonian outfit do have an option to buy so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here.

Denis Suarez could indeed be a quick fix for Arsenal for the rest of the season. SkySports brilliantly highlighted the gap he can fill in Emery’s squad in this article. He is a versatile, technically gifted player. However, an important question Arsenal fans should and will have is: if their club aspires to become a club as successful as Barcelona, should they really be signing their surplus 25-year old “reserve” player? Have Arsenal toned down their ambitions?

See also: Emery wins first London derby

This reminds me of Cambiasso’s comments when Rafinha was loaned to Inter Milan last year.

With Rafinha, it must be said that Inter are bringing in a Barcelona reserve.

Therefore, an interesting player has arrived, but (Barca) have only given him to them because he’s not been playing. That’s the truth. – Esteban Cambiasso

Arsenal are in a similar situation with Suarez. You would not imagine clubs like Manchester United or Real Madrid agreeing on such deals for a fellow top club’s reserve player. A world class first teamer who is out of favor would have been a whole different story, for example: James Rodriguez’s 2-year loan move from Madrid to Bayern. Nobody needs to be filled in on the Colombian’s class.

Arsenal’s status as a top club has been put into question a lot over the past few years and hiring Emery lifted spirits for a while but it’s very clear that they have some work to do  both on and off the pitch to be considered European elite again.


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