Suarez Mk II: Denis can take burden off MSN at Barca in 2016-17

The in-form winger has confirmed his return to Camp Nou and can provide the backup needed by the Catalan club to ensure that their three elite forwards avoid fatigue next season

If one thing was made clear from Barcelona's slump towards the end of last season, it was that they need another forward. As Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez returned tired from the international break in late March, everything went wrong... but there is a solution for next season: the Catalans have bought back Denis Suarez.

Suarez impressed for Villarreal in La Liga and the Europa League last season, scoring five goals and assisting 11 more over the course of the campaign while falling just short at the semi-finals in his quest to win the continental competition for the second year in a row. He had been part of the Sevilla side who lifted the trophy in 2014-15.

Barcelona were watching with interest. The Catalan club retained a buy-back option on the winger and, for just a cut-price €3 million and his exceptional form, exercising it was a no-brainer.

"He's a player we value," Barca sporting director Robert Fernandez said in March. "We looked at signing him in the winter market but circumstances meant we couldn't do it. Villarreal's stance was logical. It's possible he could come in the summer window. He's a player that Barca could sign."Suarez was born in Galicia and came through the youth system at Celta before a move to Manchester City, where he was voted as the club's Young Player of the Year but featured only twice for the first team.

He then moved to Camp Nou and spent a successful season at Barca B before a loan move to Sevilla for two seasons. He subsequently joined Villarreal for an undisclosed fee last summer as the Catalans retained a buy-back clause so, naturally, Marcelino's side did not look kindly upon the possibility of losing the player just six months later, when reports first linked him with a January return.

Barca's elimination from the Champions League and their mini-slump in La Liga, which allowed both Atletico and Real Madrid back into the title race, highlighted the need for a larger squad and, in particular, backup for Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

Denis Suarez looks like just the man to ease the burden placed on the 'MSN' trident in recent months. The 22-year-old can play on either wing, as a support striker, a false nine or even as an 'interior' in midfield. And he already knows Barca, which means that adaptation should be fairly fast and straightforward.


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