Arsenal have officially confirmed the signing of Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, who will be joining the Gunners on loan until the end of the season.
The deal also includes the option for Mikel Arteta to make the transfer permanent in the summer should he wish to do so.
Mari scored three goals in 30 appearances for the Brazilian Serie A side, who he joined back in July 2019, following various loan spells at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna while being under the banner of none other than Manchester City.
But now, he’ll try his luck again in the Premier League and it’ll be interesting to see whether he turns out to be a good option for the Gunners.
And South American football expert Tim Vickery has painted a promising future for Mari in north London, stating that he’ll be a wise acquisition.
Here’s what he said about Mari, as quoted by TalkSPORT:
“He’s by no way the most glamorous, but that front four with all the goals being scored by Gabriel Barbosa and Bruno Henrique, it wouldn’t have worked had the team not been able to defend with a high line – and Pablo Mari was the man behind all of that, he was superb. He hasn’t got express pace, but his positioning is good enough to get him out of jail.
“Arteta knows the player, knows what he’s getting and I think it could be a good bit of business for Arsenal. I don’t think he’s going to be the sensation that he has been in Brazil but I think he can do a competent role there. A left-footed centre-back is great as well for passing out from the back, it just opens out the pitch so much more.”
While Vickery hasn’t been overly sensationalist about Mari, he has suggested Arsenal have scooped up a player who should adapt well to Arteta’s tactics at the Emirates.
That he is a left-footed centre back who is capable of playing out from the back suggests he can give Arteta a fresh option in his defensive unit, one with the potential to create space for his teammates.
Perhaps he could be the Gunners’ best left-footed central defender since Thomas Vermaelen.