Denis Suarez is ready to start Premier League games for Arsenal after building his fitness during the international break, says Unai Emery.
Suarez, who is on loan at the Gunners from Barcelona, has made four substitute appearances in the league since joining the club in January.
But the international window allowed Suarez to get important minutes under his belt in a training match against Al-Nasr, including setting up Carl Jenkinson for a goal.
Arsenal are at home to Newcastle United on Monday as the run-in gets under way and Emery could select Suarez for the first time.
“I think yes,” Emery told reporters when asked if Suarez could be included in the team. “I think he is okay for starting in the first XI, to give us this impact.
“I think now our focus is collectively a very strong focus to help, in 90 minutes, 30 minutes or one minute. We are going to need everybody, every player for the next matches.
“Now we have a lot of players ready, with a big mentality with a big performance to play and help us. For me like that, we can be stronger, more competitive for taking the big performance, with Denis or with another player.”
— Denis Suarez (@DenisSuarez6) March 26, 2019
With eight games to go, Arsenal occupy fourth place in the Premier League. They are a point behind rivals Tottenham but only two clear of Manchester United, with Chelsea a further point back in sixth.
“Each day, each match, for us and them, is very important,” said Emery on the race to clinch a top-four finish. “Thirty-eight matches give us [the chance] to be competitive, to play consistently.
“Now we are taking as a big performance as Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham. Now it’s very important and I trust in us. I know we need to do a lot to be in the top four.
“I know Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham are going to win a lot of points between this match and the last.”
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 29, 2019
Emery, though, denied any suggestion Arsenal have an easier run of fixtures on paper compared to Spurs, United and Chelsea.
“We are going to play the same matches, five away and three at home,” the Spaniard said. “It’s going to be very difficult for us and them.
“We are in our process but our process is giving us, all the time, better combinations with the players and better combinations tactically. We are playing different systems with different players and we are taking a big performance with them.
“I have a lot of confidence in us and our players, but I know Monday’s game is giving us a big challenge against them [Newcastle].
“I know we are strong at home, but we need to continue working like we are doing and also keep moving forward with a big ambition and big atmosphere in our stadium.
“I want to create each match this atmosphere to show them our best performance with our system and tactical plan. Every match is a big challenge for us.”
Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal could be available to face Newcastle after returning to training.
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