Barcelona have activated a buyback clause in Denis Suarez’s contract to return the wispy playmaker to Camp Nou after a year on Villarreal’s books. The 22-year-old former Barcelona B man rejoins the Spanish champions to provide much needed depth in an aging midfield and likely serve as Andres Iniesta’s long-term replacement.
Before joining Barcelona for the first time, Suarez was a Manchester City player, and his game bears more than a passing resemblance to fellow Spaniard David Silva. Slight of stature with wonderful technical quality, the newly capped international boasts the same remote control-esque touch and funhouse mirror dribbling ability that sets Silva and Iniesta apart, with an added touch of pace the two older men have never possessed.
Suarez chipped in with five goals and 11 assists for Villarreal before Barcelona activated his clause, bringing him back to the fold for a sum of around $3.65 million. Capable of playing on both wings, or in midfield, his versatility and technical ability will be invaluable to a Barcelona team that struggled with depth before ultimately tumbling out of Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
With Andres Iniesta on the wrong side of 30, and the Blaugrana’s midfield options fairly thin beyond Ivan Rakitic, Arda Turan and Sergi Roberto, Suarez’s very reasonably priced arrival just seems to be good business. It remains to be seen if he has the quality and personality to fit in with Barcelona’s cadre of world stars, but on paper at least, this looks like an all-around win.