'He can make an impact in the starting XI' – Emery convinced Suarez is ready for Arsenal breakthrough

The Barcelona loanee has found regular playing time hard to come by at the Emirates Stadium, but the Gunners boss has been impressed with his progress

Denis Suarez is ready to make an impact in Arsenal’s starting XI after a slow start to life at the club, says manager Unai Emery.

The 25-year-old joined the Gunners on a six-month loan deal from Barcelona in January, but he has since only managed to appear in four Premier League matches.

The Spaniard is still awaiting his first start at the Emirates, but he has had the chance to prove himself during the international break.

Suarez played the full 90 minutes during Arsenal’s 3-2 friendly victory over Al Nasr, providing Carl Jenkinson with an assist.

Emery has been impressed by the Barca star’s application during the club’s warm-weather training camp in Dubai and he has hinted he could be in line to feature against Newcastle on Monday.

The 47-year-old stated in a press conference on Friday: “He is okay for starting in the first XI, to give us this impact.

“We are going to need everybody, every player for the next matches.

“We decided to go away to train for four days and play a match in Dubai. But it’s the same idea, the same spirit.

When asked why it has taken so long for Suarez to settle into his new surroundings, Emery said: “It’s normal. Now we have a lot of players ready, with a big mentality and with a big performance to play and help us.”

A home win for the Gunners over Newcastle will ensure they remain in the Champions League qualifying spots and they could even move into third if Tottenham drop points at Liverpool on Sunday.

Arsenal can also still qualify for next year’s competition outright if they win the Europa League, with a quarter-final tie against Napoli on the horizon in April.

Emery can also earn himself a place in the club’s record books if his side secure three points against the Magpies, with nine successive home wins under their belt since early December.

A tenth would see the Spanish coach equal the record Arsene Wenger set during his first campaign with Arsenal in the 1997-98 season and set them up perfectly for a strong finish this time around.

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