Cape Town - Arsene Wenger admits he wishes he had brought Luis Suarez to Arsenal as he prepares to face the Uruguayan and Barcelona in the Champions League.
Wenger was linked with a move for Suarez when he was at Ajax, and again later in his controversy-strewn spell at Liverpool, though he never really got close to landing his man.
Suarez is expected to line-up alongside regular partners Lionel Messi and Neymar for the La Liga side at the Emirates this season, and Wenger is keen to hail a facet of the 28-year-old that is rarely spoken well of – his character.
"I used to think 'what if I signed Luis Suarez' before, but not now," he told reporters. "He gives camaraderie to a team. He did it at Liverpool and he did it playing with Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan for Uruguay, and did it well.
"Suarez is the kind of guy who manages to create that spirit in teams. Apart from the individual talent the three (Suarez, Messi, and Neymar) have, they also have a good understanding, cohesion and great solidarity.
"I have seen that Lionel Messi gave the ball to Suarez from a penalty, because he wanted him to be the best goal-scorer.
"When you see someone like Messi - who had the opportunity to score his 300th goal - do that, it means there's really something there.”
Wenger ended up signing Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona when he couldn’t prise Suarez from Liverpool, and he says the Chilean is ready to face his former club on Tuesday after fully recovering from a hamstring injury.
"Don't worry about Tuesday, he'll be tuned in. He is about focus, Sanchez,” added Wenger. "He has a game based on risk and so when he's not completely, completely highly tuned in, it becomes dangerous."