Arsenal complete signing of Pablo Mari on loan with option to buy

By Chris Myson 29 January 2020 20
Arsenal complete signing of Pablo Mari on loan with option to buy

Arsenal have completed the signing of Pablo Mari on a loan deal with the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

Mari, 26, is Mikel Arteta's first signing since taking over as head coach in December after his switch from Flamengo was completed on Wednesday for a reported £4million loan fee.

The defender arrived in London with Arsenal technical director Edu on Saturday, who praised the Gunners' latest arrival.

"Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality," Edu said as the club confirmed the move.

"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.

"Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt."

Mari joined Manchester City in 2016 but never played for the first team, leaving for Flamengo last July having been sent out for loan stints at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna.

At Flamengo, he was a key figure under Jorge Jesus, who led the Rio de Janeiro giants to the Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores titles.

Mari also featured when Flamengo lost the Club World Cup final against Liverpool 1-0 after extra time.

Arsenal have been keen to bolster their defensive options following injuries to Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac and have now landed their man.

"It's a massive opportunity for me to come to England, which is the best league in the world right now," said Mari.

"Being able to play in this league and having the opportunity to play for Arsenal is incredible, so I’m really looking forward to wearing the shirt as soon as possible.

"I want to help my team to win matches and give my fans something to celebrate."

Flamengo showed their gratitude to Mari as they confirmed his departure earlier in the day, saying: "The time has come for us to say goodbye.

"He is a defender who arrived at Flamengo to make his mark in our history with the Libertadores and the Brazilian Championship titles.

"Pablo Mari, thank you for everything."

Arsenal, unbeaten in six games across all competitions, sit 10th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday's away match against Burnley.

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