By 90Min
July 26, 2018

Fringe Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez is hoping to take advantage of Andres Iniesta's departure to cement his place in the first team this season.

Suarez has not been a regular starter for Barcelona since re-joining from Villarreal in 2016, failing to feature significantly under either Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde.

The 24-year-old first joined Barça's B team from Manchester City in 2013, before being sold to Villarreal. Since re-signing in 2016, he has made 63 appearances in all competitions but started just four time in La Liga in 2017/18.

However, following the sales of first team regulars Iniesta and Paulinho, Suarez now feels he has an opportunity to force his way into the side.

Speaking about the upcoming season, ESPN reported Suarez saying: "I'm really looking forward to the new season and hopeful that it will be the year when I definitively take that step forward and play much more than in previous years. 

"That's the sensation I have every season, but perhaps more than ever this year. Some important players have left the club, above all in my position, and I want to take advantage of those absences.

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"[Iniesta's] departure is huge for us. I don't intend to compare myself with him, but it's true we have some similar characteristics. Now he's gone, I hope to take advantage of the situation and play more minutes."

Barcelona are reportedly looking to thin their squad ahead of the new season, clearing out some of their fringe players, but Suarez has been reassured over his position with the club.

"I've spoken with [Valverde] and he knows that my intention is to stay, his intention is that I stay, too. I'm preparing for the season in the best way possible and I will try to convince him that I can play from the off.

"He wants me to take a step forward this year. I know what I have to give and I think I have the ability to play a lot more minutes, a lot more than I've played in my first two years with the first team and I hope that will be the case."

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