Denis Suarez is still not ready to feature for a full 90 minutes in the Premier League and Arsenal must remain patient as he continues to adapt, according to coach Unai Emery.
Midfielder Suarez, 25, joined Arsenal on loan in January having grown frustrated with a lack of opportunities at Barcelona.
However, since swapping LaLiga for the Premier League, Suarez has not seen much first-team football in England either, with his two top-flight appearances amounting to just 38 minutes of action.
The Spain international could be handed his first start against Bournemouth on Wednesday, though, after Alex Iwobi suffered an ankle injury.
But Emery has tempered expectations, adamant he is not ready to play the entire match.
“I am very demanding of myself to find the best performance of the players,” Emery said in Tuesday’s pre-match news conference.
“I think Suarez is improving with his adaptation every day. Then his quality can give us a lot.
Denis Suarez has become the 864th player to represent The Arsenal
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) 4 February 2019
“I think he is not okay today to play 90 minutes, because he needs rhythm, but one positive is he can start [against Bournemouth] knowing that, or he can stay on the bench and then help us.
“He is working every day, improving and knowing us. His adaptation needs time to get confidence, to know his team-mates during training and then playing matches.
“For him, all the minutes he gets are important. On Sunday [against Southampton] my idea was to play him for some minutes, but after [Stephan] Lichtsteiner’s injury I couldn’t give him those minutes, but against Bournemouth is another opportunity.”
Suarez’s loan deal includes a purchase option reportedly worth £18million, but his lack of opportunities means he is yet to convince Arsenal to make the deal permanent.
“For me, it [making a decision at the end of the season] is so far away,” Emery added. “The football, each match, each week, can change a lot.
“We are in every match, we are doing a test on everybody. My test, like a coach, is tomorrow [Wednesday] 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 end of the season is so far away.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!