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25-02-2019 | 10:27 Football

Denis Suarez’s Arsenal future on the line as he could only watch Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi shine

It’s a month since Barcelona player Denis Suarez has joined Arsenal but his permanent transfer in the Premier League club seems in doubt. With none of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi or Aaron Ramsey convincing, Suarez promised to be a cornerstone of the second half of Arsenal's season. And now Emery explains what can happen. "His adaptation is good but it needs time," Emery said before the first leg of the round of 32 tie with BATE Borisov. "He is okay to start being involved in the first XI but also to be in the bench so that later in the match he can play. "This adaptation is important for us and then also he can be playing, but he needs to earn it, little-by-little, to take minutes, confidence and rhythm with us. These can be the two possibilities." Unlike in seasons past Iwobi is driving forward with purpose and a little arrogance, forcing Yann Valery to commit, whether that be to dealing with the Nigerian's darts infield or tracking the overlapping Sead Kolasinac. On the opposite flank Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s deflected volley gave the Frenchman the chance to open the scoring after six minutes before he then slotted home Iwobi's cutback to double the lead. The results prove that Emery will hardly sign Suarez on permanent deal if he has Ozil and Aubameyng to call on. He still could be a valuable option but nothing else.

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