Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, joins Arsenal on loan

Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, joins Arsenal on loan
Flamengo defender Pablo Mari, joins Arsenal on loan

Arsenal have signed Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on loan until the end of the season. The deal includes the option to buy for the 26-year-old Spaniard in the summer.

Pablo Mari might not be very popular name in England – but his performance in the Club World Cup final against Liverpool indeed bought him a lot of attention. Pablo Mari was in superb form against Liverpool and the likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, helping his side keep a clean sheet in the 90 minutes before the Reds won it in extra time.

Mari told Arsenal Player, “At the end of the day, they’re just people like everyone else. Obviously, they’re in great form at the moment, and they’re among the best players in the world, but we also have a fantastic team with top players.”

“This is football, and that’s the way you have to look at it. You have to compete against every side, whether it’s Liverpool or any other club in the world. I have a lot of faith in this great club, Arsenal, and I know we’re going to do very well.”

Mari scored two goals in 22 appearances for the Brazilian Serie A side, which he joined in July 2019.

“Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality,” Arsenal technical director Edu said on Wednesday. Mari was in Manchester City player during 2016-19, but never featured in the playing eleven for the club, instead of going on season-long loans to Girona, NAC Breda and later Deportivo La Coruna.

He won the Brazilian Serie A title, the Copa Libertadores and runners trophy in Club World Cup with Flamengo and became Mikel Arteta’s first signing since being appointed as Gunners boss in December.

Arsenal’s defensive problems increased with an injury to Shkodran Mustafi in their FA Cup fourth-round win at Bournemouth on Monday. The German defender is due to have a scan after being taken off on a stretcher at Vitality Stadium. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been serving suspension and David Luiz joined him. Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac have already been sidelined by injury.