Arsenal has finally secured the loan signing of Spanish defender Pablo Mari, from Brazilian and South American champions Flamengo, till the end of the season with the Gunners having the option to make the move permanent.
The defence has been a major cause of concern for Mikel Arteta since he was appointed, it was also a problem his predecessors, Emery and Ljungberg faced. Arsenal’s defensive crisis is due to several injuries, inconsistency by those fit and unwillingness of the club owners to spend in the transfer market.
The club has now brought in Mari with the hope that he will help them in their quest to put an end to their defensive challenges, at least till the end of the season.
Here, TOP SOCCER BLOG looks at 5 facts about Pablo Mari.
1. Pablo Mari Villar was born on the 31st of August 1993 in Almussafes, Spain.
2. He began his career at RCD Mallorca’s academy and made his professional debut for the first team on the 7th of December 2011.
Due to limited playing time in Mallorca’s first team, Mari secured a transfer to Spanish 3rd division side Gimnastic de Tarragona, in September 2013. He helped Gimnastic secure promotion to the second division (Segunda division) in 2015.
3. On the 15th of August 2016, Mari signed for Premier League giants Manchester City but was immediately loaned to City’s sister club Girona.
He later had loan spells at NAC Breda (Netherlands) and Deportivo la Coruna (Spain).
4. On 11th of July 2019, Mari secured a permanent transfer to Brazilian side Flamengo for €1.3m and signed a three-year contract till 2022. At Flamengo, he formed a formidable central-defensive partnership with Rodrigo Caio.
He was notable for his excellent long-range passing, calmness in possession and clever positional awareness. Despite his short stay at Flamengo, he still managed to win the Brazilian Serie A and the Copa Libertadores.
(Mari is the first-ever Spanish player in history to win the Copa Libertadores).
5. On the 29th of January 2020, Mari joined Arsenal on a 6-month loan deal for a reported £4.25m, with Arsenal having the option to make the move permanent.
Mari is not a stranger to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta who was formerly an assistant manager at Manchester City and will have noticed Mari’s talent despite the fact that the defender never made an appearance for City.
Arsenal will be hoping that Pablo Mari can stabilize their defence as they compete in the Premier League and 2019/2020 Europa League.
Written by Muftaudeen Abdullahi Ishola