After weeks of speculation, Arsenal finally completed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez on transfer deadline day.
The 25-year-old has joined the Gunners on loan until the end of the season, while simultaneously signing a new contract at Barca that will keep him at the Camp Nou until 2021.
As Suarez joins the Premier League, here are seven things you need to know about Arsenal‘s new Spanish star.
1. This Is Not Suarez’s First Time Playing in England
The Citizens convinced Suarez to move to the Etihad over a number of big clubs, including Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona. He signed for an initial fee of £850,000 and made his debut in City’s 5-2 League Cup win over Wolves; coming off the bench in the 67th minute.
He went on to win City’s Young Player of the Year for 2012, and scoring six goals and assisting a further six for the Under-23 team. However Suarez only made two senior appearances in his time at City, and was sold to Barcelona B in 2013.
2. He Is Reuniting With Arsenal Boss Unai Emery
One of the reasons Suarez chose to join Arsenal was manager Unai Emery. The Spaniard’s loan move to the Emirates sees him reunite with his fellow countryman, after they spent a hugely successful season together at Sevilla.
Emery signed Suarez on a season-long loan from Barcelona B in 2014, where he went on to score six goals as Los Rojiblancos finished fifth in La Liga and won the Europa League; beating Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the final.
Emery expressed his delight at the midfielder signing for the club, stating: “We are very happy that Denis Suarez is joining us. He is a player we know well and I have worked with him at Sevilla. He brings us quality and options in many different attacking positions, so he’ll be able to help the team.”
3. He Is Extremely Versatile
Suarez is a central midfielder, which is also his preferred position. He confirmed this in an interview with Arsenal when he said he idolises Andres Iniesta, saying: “he’s always been my idol, ever since I was young. As well as the fact that he plays in a similar position to me.”
However, Suarez is not bound to the central midfield role, which has been proven in his career. The Spaniard can play as an attacking midfielder or a winger, where he has previously played for Barcelona and Sevilla.
Although Suarez prefers being in the middle of the pitch, he is more than capable and willing to play across the pitch. Emery has hinted that he would likely use him as a winger, but wherever he plays he is certain to put in a shift.
4. Arsenal ‘Inspired’ Him as a Child
Upon signing for Arsenal, Suarez revealed in an interview with the club that he had an affection for the Gunners as a child. He explained how he used to love watching Arsenal when he was a young boy in Spain, and revealed two legends he adored.
He said: “One thing no one knows about me is that when I was little and I used to watch the Premier League on the TV, Arsenal were a team that really inspired me. I used to watch Bergkamp and Henry – they’re both legends of the club and hopefully we can follow in their footsteps.”
5. Suarez Has Played for the Galicia National Team
Suarez has been capped by the Spanish national team before, making his debut in a 3-1 friendly win over Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, La Roja isn’t the only team that the 25-year-old has represented.
Born and bred in Pontevedra, a province of Galicia, Suarez once played for the Galicia national team – an unofficial team due to the fact that they’re not registered by FIFA.
Suarez played the full 90 minutes in Galicia’s 1-1 draw with Venezuela in May 2016, which is the team’s most recent game. Although FIFA don’t and won’t recognise the match, it was a big honour for Suarez to represent his regional homeland.
6. He Is a Big Tennis Fan Who Loves Rafael Nadal
Away from football, Suarez has a lot of other interests. However his key sporting interest away from the beautiful game comes in the form of tennis, which he is a big fan of.
Suarez has said in many interviews that he is a huge fan of the sport, and enjoys watching the sport in his free time. He especially idolises Spain’s most iconic tennis player: Rafael Nadal.
7. Suarez is Joining His Seventh Team in Nine Years
During his nine-year senior career, Suarez has admittedly struggled to settle down or find a long term club. His move to Arsenal means he will have played for seven different teams in his career, including big names such as Manchester City, Barcelona and Sevilla.
Seven teams in nine years does say something about Suarez, but it also shows how high demand for him is and how sought after he is. What we can see from this is that Arsenal have an excellent signing in Suarez, bringing in a player with a lot of potential with the Gunners.