February 26, 2019 / 5:18 PM / 7 months ago

Soccer-Emery set to give Suarez first Arsenal start against Bournemouth

Feb 26 (Reuters) - Arsenal midfielder Denis Suarez is likely to make his first start for the Premier League club against Bournemouth on Wednesday although he is still not ready to play a full 90 minutes, manager Unai Emery has said.

Suarez joined Arsenal on loan from Barcelona in January and had been limited to two league appearances as a substitute as he adjusts to the demands of England’s top flight and Arsenal’s playing style.

“I am very demanding to find the best performance from him. Denis is improving with his adaptation every day and then his quality can give us a lot on the pitch,” Emery told reporters on Tuesday.

“He is not okay yet to play 90 minutes because of (a lack of) rhythm but one possibility is for him to start tomorrow. Otherwise he will stay on the bench and then he can help us.”

Suarez came off the bench in Arsenal’s Europa League round of 32 matches against BATE Borisov and Emery said the Spaniard is beginning to gain the confidence he requires to be a regular starter.

“He’s working every day, improving and knowing us,” Emery added. “My philosophy is that adaptation needs time and after, little-by-little he will grow confidence and know his team mates in training and after playing matches.”

Emery will take a late decision on the participation of midfielder Alex Iwobi (ankle) and defender Stephan Lichtsteiner (back) while midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is available after recovering from illness.

Arsenal are fourth in the league with 53 points from 27 matches. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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