FC Barcelona failed to land Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool this transfer window, and their alternatives - Angel Di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain and Thomas Lemar from AS Monaco - all broadly fit a similar profile. That is, a fast, creative winger / attacking midfielder hybrid. One that can dribble and provide a spark of inspiration. Of course none of them came, but so Barcelona has to look in-house for that. And that’s where Denis Suarez could come in.
Denis had a mediocre last season, going in fits and starts and never quite gaining the full trust of Luis Enrique. He did seem poised to take the next step at times, and his season at Villarreal two years ago was very impressive. At 23, he’s still young, and one would think he’s poised to take a big leap at his age.
There are things he needs to work on, particularly, his defending. But his link up play with the rest of the attackers so far has looked good. The big question again, is if he’s destined to look good in average Liga games or if he can be a true gamechanger at the highest level.
With Andres Iniesta getting into the twilight of his career, Denis could have many opportunities to nail a spot down as his heir for club and country. With Ernesto Valverde at the helm, the young Spaniard has a fresh start to gain the confidence of the manager and some minutes in even the biggest occasions. Can he make it count?