On-loan star wishes to stay permanently at the Emirates – Should the Gunners respond?


Why Arsenal should sign Pablo Mari on a permanent basis

On-loan Spanish defender Pablo Mari has stated that he wishes to move to Arsenal on a permanent basis (h/t Sky Sports).

Pablo Mari came through the youth ranks at Mallorca, before making the switch to Gimnastic in 2013. Having spent three years at the club, the centre-back then joined Manchester City in 2016. The 26-year-old was on the Cityzens’ book for three years, but never made a first-team appearance.

Instead, he was loaned out to Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna before joining Brazilian club Flamengo permanently last summer. Having impressed in Brazil in a short time, Pablo Mari joined Arsenal on loan in January, with the club retaining the option of making the deal permanent (h/t Sky Sports).

Pablo Mari of Arsenal
Pablo Mari (Getty Images)

Arsenal’s 2019/20 season has been a disappointing one to say the least. The Gunners never really got going under Unai Emery, prompting a managerial change as Mikel Arteta took over the reins at the Emirates.

While there has been a marked improvement in performances under the Spaniard, Arsenal still find themselves in 9th place in the Premier League table and have crashed out of the UEFA Europa League.

Arsenal defence a liability

The Gunners’ defence has once again been a major liability for them this season. Arsenal have conceded 36 goals in the Premier League this season. Only Burnley, Tottenham and Chelsea have conceded more among the top ten sides in the league table this term.

Arsenal have managed just seven clean sheets in the top-flight this term, which is the 11th best in the league. Not good enough for a team aiming for a top-four finish.

Arsenal's David Luiz blocks a cross against West Ham (Getty Imgaes)
Arsenal’s David Luiz blocks a cross against West Ham (Getty Images)

The likes of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz have hardly been consistent enough. Whereas Calum Chambers and Rob Holding have endured injury problems one after another. Moreover, Luiz and Sokratis are into their thirties and need to be replaced soon enough, warranting the strengthening of the centre-back department for Arsenal.

To that end, securing Mari’s signing on a permanent basis would be a smart move for Arsenal. The 26-year-old played just two times for the Gunners before the season was suspended. But he was fairly impressive in those appearances.

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Pablo Mari (Getty Images)
Pablo Mari at Flamengo (Getty Images)

Moreover, given the lack of quality depth in the centre-back department for the North London outfit, bringing the Spaniard on board on a permanent basis would address that concern.

At 26, Pablo Mari is entering his peak years. The Spanish centre-back played some of his finest football last year with Flamengo, helping them to the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A success. Someone with that kind of experience and age still on his side would be a handy option for Mikel Arteta to call upon.


Arsenal are in need of defensive reinforcements given their current plight. Mari may not have played a lot since joining, but has shown his quality during his time at Flamengo. And in order to add depth to the ranks in central defence, signing him on a permanent basis would be the right move for the Gunners.