Martin Keown believes Denis Suarez may spell trouble for Granit Xhaka’s Arsenal career

Arsenal legend Martin Keown believes the winter signing of Denis Suarez at the Emirates should provide further competition for Granit Xhaka at the heart of the midfield. The Switzerland international has been lacking the defensive awareness on multiple occasions during the ongoing campaign and Keown feels the arrival of Suarez could spell trouble for Xhaka’s position in the team.

In a report covered by The Star, Keown said that manager Unai Emery is unlikely to consider dropping the likes of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi from the starting XI and this should directly impact on Xhaka’s position, should Suarez be needed on the playing field. He added that he was surprised by the Gunners’ inability to sign a new centre-back in January, although Emery is clear with the mindset to control games after the recruitment of Suarez.
He said: “The arrival of Denis Suarez at Arsenal puts pressure on Granit Xhaka. Unai Emery is not going to drop Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi has showed promise. I am surprised Emery did not prioritise signing a defender. But this move clearly suggests that he wants to improve Arsenal’s ability to control games in midfield.”

Suarez did not enjoy the best debut during the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend where he came on as a second-half substitute. Since then, he has earned another chance against bottom side Huddersfield Town on the road but there remains room for improvement as he gets to adjust to the demands of the Premier League.

“The north London giants have acquired Suarez on a short-term loan from Barcelona with the option to buy at the end of the campaign“. With Aaron Ramsey expected to make way on a Bosman this summer, a permanent deal for Suarez seems a no-brainer, although the hierarchy “may want to judge“ whether he can fit into the scheme of things under Emery during the rest of the campaign.