Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez has described this past year as one "to forget" after an injury ravaged loan spell at Arsenal, claiming he was only 50% fit at best for the majority of his north London stint.
The 25-year-old moved to the Emirates Stadium in January after being publicly courted for a number of months, but the move failed to turn out as Suarez would have hoped - with a pelvic injury sustained in his second game for the club spoiling the remainder of his campaign.
Now, Suarez has revealed, in quotes carried by The Guardian, that the clash against BATE Borisov in the Europa League was the catalyst for his season unravelling, dashing any hopes that he and Arsenal fans alike had of his loan spell being a successful one.
"At the end of the game I thought that I had torn my groin and they did a scan and saw that I had an oedema [a build-up of fluid] on the bone in my pelvis," Suarez said.
“I thought I had torn something; I was in a lot of pain. From then on I carried on training with medication and putting up with it as best I could but I didn’t feel right and [Unai] Emery didn’t think I was right. I wasn’t comfortable.
"I don’t think I was even at 50%. After 15 days of being at Arsenal I wasn’t right. From the 16th I wasn’t even at 50%".
After picking up a couple of injuries during the first half the season with his parent club, it was the worst possible outcome for Suarez and compounded a miserable season for the Spanish international, who went on to express his desire to continue his career in La Liga.
“I have two years left at Barcelona; I renewed my contact before I left," he added. "What I want is to play. At Barcelona I think I’m not going to have the opportunity to participate regularly and what I want is to leave and to play. Where? I don’t know. Wherever is best for me.
"I have to look at everything. My idea is to stay in the Spanish League, to be near home and compete in La Liga. The experience of the Premier League, which is a league I love, didn’t go well because of the injury and I prefer to continue my career in Spain if I can."