Why Arsenal must sign Pablo Mari permanently

According to Daily Express, Premier League side Arsenal are working on a deal to sign Pablo Mari permanently.

The left-footed centre-back arrived at the Emirates on loan from Flamengo during the winter break. However, the Gunners have an option to buy him permanently when his contract expires at the end of this month.

Pablo Mari is currenty on loan at Arsenal from Brazilian side Flamengo.
Pablo Mari is currently on loan at Arsenal from Brazilian side Flamengo until the end of this season. (Getty Images)

However, Mari, who featured in Arsenal’s Premier League loss against Manchester City on Wednesday, will miss out the remainder of the season after suffering an ankle injury. Despite that, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta remains determined to add Mari to his options permanently.

The 26-year-old Spaniard had played 236 consecutive matches without an injury before his switch to the Emirates. Since moving to England, Mari has featured just three times for Arsenal before being ruled out in his third game on loan. In his three matches for the Gunners, Mari has kept two clean sheets.

Having conceded goals at an alarming rate, Arteta was forced to bring in Mari on loan, as seasoned centre-backs David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis all failed to put up decent displays.

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Manager Mikel Arteta shakes hands with his Arsenal players. (Getty Images)

Mari can offer consistency at the back for Arsenal

Mari, meanwhile, is a proven customer, having won the league title with former side Flamengo last season. He played in 22 of their league outings, managing 9 clean sheets, giving a clear glimpse of his potential.

Arsenal, on the other hand, face a huge uncertainty regarding the future of veteran defender Luiz, whose contract at the club is set to expire at the end of this month. Also, with Luiz turning 33 last April and Sokratis 32 earlier this month, Arsenal are clearly in need of new faces in their defence.

Mustafi, on the other hand, has been consistently prone to errors despite moving to the Emirates four years ago. He is clearly not one of the favourites and Arsenal need a reliable face at the back if they wish to improve their displays at least next season.

Flamengo Celebrates Winning the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores 2019 Around Rio de Janeiro 1580195524
Pablo Mari (right) after winning the Brazilian top-flight league with Flamengo last season. (Getty Images)

Hence, Arsenal’s decision to make Mari’s stay in England a permanent one seems like a step in the right direction.

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Verdict

Despite having as many as three experienced defenders, Arsenal have struggled at the back throughout this season. Having proved himself already in Brazil, Mari could be an answer to their defensive woes. Also, being a left-footed centre-back, Mari can offer balance to Arteta’s back-line, with the rest of them being right-footed players.