One of the biggest talking points going into the new season was how Barcelona were going to replace Neymar. With the signing of Ousmane Dembele, the club and fans felt slightly less apprehensive, but after the Frenchman’s injury, a new player has stepped into the limelight to display his quality. Some might be thinking Gerard Deulofeu, but no… instead it has been Denis Suarez.
Gifted with a brilliant understanding of the Barcelona system, Suarez has differentiated himself from competitors for a starting position in a unique way.
Throughout the already young season, rumors regarding unhappiness in regards to playing time have been swirling from Sergio Roberto to Deulofeu. In particular, Deulofeu has always been a player piped for so much, but lacking so much in effort.
This can be seen as a lack of effort on the pitch, as well as in his mentality. Over the summer, Denis Suarez rejected two offers, including one from Napoli in order to fight for his place in the team, stating: “I had no doubts about staying… I know I have the manager’s faith and I believe in my chances. If I take advantage of my opportunities, my objective is to be an important player here and I won’t stop fighting for that.”
It seems as though while similar in quality on the pitch, the true differentiation between Suarez and Deulofeu is the commitment to make an impact on a club that means so much to them.
Unlike Deulofeu, Suarez’s impact this year has not only been felt offensively, but defensively as well. The question of, “Is he willing to track back?” does not apply to Suarez, because we have seen it again and again.
On the subject of offensive contribution, Suarez has proved that his natural quality can be paired with a great creativity as well. Overall, Suarez has played in six games thus far during the Liga campaign. He has started two matches, and in those two starts accumulated one goal and two assists, paired with an 84.35% passing success rate.
A snapshot of the player’s unrelenting mindset and quality can be captured in a substitute appearance during Barcelona’s match versus Getafe. Down 1-0, Ernesto Valverde introduced Suarez as a second-half substitute.
Immediately, the difference was felt and eventually Suarez ensured that his manager’s choice of substitution was a success. Picking up possession in the box, he displayed his quality on the ball as well, as he perfectly placed his shot past Getafe’s keeper Vincente Guaita.
One of the aspects that most Barcelona fans acknowledge and respect in their players is the value of hard work. No player is let off the hook in terms of effort, whether it is Lionel Messi or Deulofeu.
It seems as though Denis Suarez understands this perfectly, and is willing to put his blood, sweat, and tears into this Blaugrana team. Deulofeu on the other hand, seems to continue to think that only goals and assists can appease the board, his team-mates, and the fans.
In order to be a success in this team, quality is needed, but effort is first and foremost in becoming an integral part of the team. Bravo to Denis Suarez for realizing that fact and continuing to pair effort with quality.
Hopefully, his great form continues and the team can find a natural replacement for either Xavi or Andres Iniesta. Somebody who recognizes that in order to succeed on the pitch, you must first succeed in your own mind. Visca Barca!