Denis Suarez sent a message to Arsenal and the club’s supporters about his loan spell in an interview with the English media this week.
Speaking to The Athletic, Denis Suarez gave his thoughts on his loan spell with Arsenal, including how Unai Emery convinced him to sign, why the loan didn’t go to plan, the nature of his injury and more. It’s an interesting interview if you want to read it in full here.
In this piece, we’re just taking a look at Suarez’s message to Arsenal and the fans. He started by confirming that he’s under no illusions about how his loan spell went.
“Obviously it was a bad loan because I did not play,” Suarez admitted. “But there were circumstances, which I would like the fans to understand.”
The midfielder had plenty of options that January in 2019. He could’ve made a permanent move to a number of clubs around Europe, and he wanted one with Arsenal. However, he had to settle for a loan move at first.
“I wanted Arsenal to sign me but the club were not able to at that time,” the 26-year-old explained. “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 what went wrong?
Suarez desperately wanted to prove himself and earn a permanent deal with Arsenal, but an injury ended those chances. The player stressed just how serious the problem was, and how early into his loan spell it was affecting him.
“I played in my first game against Manchester City and then 10 days later I got injured (in the first leg) against BATE Borisov in the Europa League,” Suarez recalled. “I had too much pain in my groin.
“I did tests and scans and nothing was in my groin, but there was a big oedema (build-up of fluid) around the pubic bone. I had sharp pain when I ran, when I shot, when I passed. It was so difficult. I was at something like 30 per cent of my fitness.
“Unai could not play me as he knew I was not even near 50 per cent. People started asking, ‘What’s going on with Denis? He has arrived but he isn’t playing. He is on the bench, he plays 15 minutes here or there’. But I was in big pain.
“I was the signing of Raul and Unai and I wanted to prove myself and repay them. Nobody wanted to play more than me but the situation was unsustainable. I wanted to live up to their expectations.
“I am sorry because I do not think Arsenal supporters truly understand the situation I was experiencing. They didn’t see me play, so it is hard to evaluate the loan.”
Denis Suarez on his hopes for Arsenal’s future
Despite the ultimately disappointing nature of Suarez’s loan spell, he still wishes the club well. He wanted to help Arsenal achieve their goals with him in the team, but at this point, he’ll settle for just seeing them doing well.
“Arsenal is a great club, a club I grew up admiring,” Suarez said. “I loved living in London, huge club, great stadium. I wanted to be an important player for the club.
“I don’t have any problems with anyone there and respect the supporters, which is why I want them to understand.
“I want Mikel Arteta to be successful. Arsenal have incredible potential to grow, I was there for five months and could sense that. They have some quality players, financial potential and a passionate fanbase.
“Those are the conditions that should bring success and return Arsenal to what they were.”
It’s encouraging to hear the now-Celta Vigo player sending such a positive message to his former club. It’s a shame his loan spell didn’t work out, but it’s clear that wasn’t due to any lack of drive on his part.
Suarez fought to get to Arsenal over other clubs, and it was probably the fact he pushed himself too hard to get fit that ended up leaving him on the sidelines for as long as he was. It was just bad luck.