Denis Suarez was given the green light to return to action on the 16th September but there's been no news on him since then. The player hasn't been used by Barcelona so far season. The first reason was due to an injury he picked up in preseason and now the coach is selecting other midfielders ahead of him for the match day squad.
As of today Rakitic, Busquets and Arthur are the first choice midfielders under Valverde. The presence of the Brazilian in the lineup at Wembley and Mestalla has changed Valverde's mind and he wants to give the trio a regular run of matches together. It allows the team to still deploy the new 4-3-3 system but with Coutinho as the false winger and Dembele being dropped to the bench.
Arturo Vidal, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto and Coutinho are all ahead of Denis in the pecking order. He's in the same boat as Samper and Aleña, who are both looking to get match sharp with games in the B side, as the midfielders currently without a role to play in the first team squad.
In Denis' case, it'll be interesting to see if he can recover his place in the team over the next few weeks. It was Valverde who brought him in from the wilderness towards the end of last season, most notably after Andres Iniesta announced his decision to leave the club.
"It'd be a mistake to try and find a replica of Iniesta but we players similar to him such as Aleña, Denis and Coutinho," were the words of Valverde. Even Iniesta himself named Denis as a potential replacement for him in the XI. "The team has players such as Coutinho, Denis Suarez and Aleña who have a lot of quality."
It's always been Denis who has fought hardest for his dream to be a success at Barça. "There isn't a chance I'd leave. I don't get tired of repeating that I've got two years left on my contract and I want to succeed here, and that's how it'll be."
Last season he played a total of 1,130 minutes across all competitions. 18 matches in LaLiga, three in the Champions League, five in the Copa del Rey and once in the Spanish Super Cup.
It seemed as if Denis would be given a real opportunity when Ineista departed but at the moment it's another frustrating season for the midfielder. The next few weeks might be key as to whether or not he truly has a future at the club.