Technical director Edu has told Arsenal’s official website that The Gunners had been tracking new signing Pablo Mari for quite some time, after the north London club confirmed the loan-to-buy signing of the Flamengo defender.
Mari, 26, has finally joined Arsenal on loan until the end of the season from Brazilian side Flamengo. There is a permanent deal included the clause, and supporters may remember the Spaniard from his display against Liverpool in the Club World Cup.
The 6ft 3in defender began his career with Mallorca in Spain, before moving to Manchester City in the summer of 2016 – where he came across Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. He has since played for Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo on loan.
He then joined Flamengo in the summer of 2019, but Arsenal have decided to sign him just six months later on loan. It is believed a permanent clause of around £7.5million has been included – and Edu has commented on Mari’s signing.
“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” Edu said. “Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.
“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season.”
TBR’s view – Is Mari a short-term fix, or a long-term answer?
Certainly, given his current CV, it appears that Mari is more likely to be a short-term solution with Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers on the sidelines. He is hardly the big-name answer, and one that is not proven at this level.
The fact he failed to make a single appearance for Manchester City should come as worrying for Arsenal supporters. Unless he stars for Arsenal, do not be surprised to see him return to Flamengo in the summer.