How Unai Emery convinced Arsenal flop Denis Suarez to leave Barcelona

Arsenal Unveil New Signing Denis Suarez
Emery convinced Suarez to join (Picture: Getty)

Unai Emery played a big role in convincing Denis Suarez to join Arsenal on loan from Barcelona – a move that turned out to be a disaster.

Suarez, who had played under Emery previously at Sevilla, had an ill-fated spell at the Emirates, struggling with a groin injury throughout his time in north London.

He failed to start a single game for the Gunners – playing just 67 minutes of football in the Premier League – and has subsequently signed for Celta Vigo.

Emery has since followed him out of the Arsenal exit door and Suarez admitted it was a ‘risk’ to even move to the Premier League on loan in the first place when clubs such as AC Milan and Sevilla were keen to sign him on a permanent basis.

‘Unai told me he was looking for a winger — where Alex Iwobi or Henrikh Mkhitaryan played,’ Suarez told The Athletic.

‘It is not my best position but I can play on the wing. He insisted to me, “Come here. You will play. Don’t stay in Barcelona. Play, play, play and then we can sign you”.

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Suarez’s time at Arsenal didn’t end well (Picture: Getty)

‘I wanted Arsenal to sign me but the club were not able to at that time. Instead, they said, “Come here, get the continuity, then when you have a year remaining on your contract, we can sign you”.

‘So, OK, it sounded good. The truth is I rejected other teams: Real Betis, Sevilla, AC Milan all wanted me. I took the risk of going on a loan.

‘I could have signed for those other clubs on a four or five-year deal. That’s how much I wanted it to work at Arsenal. So people don’t know fully what happened.’

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