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Arsenal long-term absentee makes long-awaited comeback as he starts for U23s tonight

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(Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal

Arsenal long-term absentee makes long-awaited comeback as he starts for U23s tonight

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari is back from injury, having been named in the Gunners Under-23s starting XI for tonight’s Premier League 2 match.

The 27-year-old, who joined Arsenal permanently in June from Brazilian club Flamengo, sustained an ankle ligament sprain against Manchester City the same month.

Mari duly underwent surgery to fix the problem and has undergone rehabilitation, returning to training earlier this month.

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(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

According to Football London, Arsenal had set themselves the aim of getting him back into training once the latest international break was over.

While last week’s Premier League meeting with Leeds and the Europa League trip to Molde this week came too soon for Mari, he has made Steve Bould’s starting line-up for tonight’s game against Derby U23s.

The Spaniard will feature alongside Calum Chambers, William Saliba and Ryan Alebiosu at the back, while Miguel Azeez and Ben Cottrell, who were in the EL squad, also start.

 

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It’s unfortunate how things have panned out for Mari, but it’s great to see him being eased back into action tonight after a lengthy absence.

Hopefully he’ll be able to stake a claim for the first team and show Arsenal fans why the club spent a reported £14million on him.

A left-footed centre-back who stands 6ft 4in, he’s got a lot to offer the Gunners, even though he’s got a big job on his hands trying to dislodge Gabriel Magalhaes from the XI.

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