The departure of Andrés Iniesta has undeniably left a gigantic hole in the Barcelona midfield for the following season. And Denis Suarez is hoping to be the player that takes advantage and becomes a key first team member.
Speaking after Barça’s first training session in Portland as part of their United States tour, Denis spoke to reporters and made it clear: he not only wants to stay at the club this season, but wants to be a lot more than just a rotation player.
“I’m really looking forward to the new season and hopeful that it will be the year when I definitively take that step forward and play much more than in previous years.
“That’s the sensation I have every season, but perhaps more than ever this year. Some important players have left the club, above all in my position, and I want to take advantage of those absences.
”[Iniesta’s] departure is huge for us. I don’t intend to compare myself with him, but it’s true we have some similar characteristics. Now he’s gone, I hope to take advantage of the situation and play more minutes.
“I’ve spoken with [Valverde] and he knows that my intention is to stay. His intention is that I stay, too. I’m preparing for the season in the best way possible and I will try to convince him that I can play from the off.
”He wants me to take a step forward this year. I know what I have to give and I think I have the ability to play a lot more minutes, a lot more than I’ve played in my first two years with the first team and I hope that will be the case.”
With Arthur needing a while to adapt and Carles Aleñá unavailable due to injury, Denis will definitely play a lot of minutes early on. Can he make a statement for the rest of the season? We’ll find out.