Arsenal are on the verge of securing a permanent move for Pablo Mari, which is likely going to cost them around £10 million.
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal have decided to retain the services of Pablo Mari. The Gunners will turn his loan move from Flamengo into a permanent one, a manoeuvre which could cost them around £10 million.
Mari initially joined Arsenal in January, in a short-term loan deal from Brazilian club Flamengo. He endured a slow start to his career at the Emirates, one that was stalled by a few fitness problems during the early phase. But, a couple of excellent performances against Portsmouth and West Ham United seems to have impressed manager Mikel Arteta.
Indeed, Mari has shown positive signs since returning to full fitness, although he is yet to face any of the Premier League’s top clubs. The Spaniard started the last game against West Ham in March before the season got indefinitely suspended due to Coronavirus.
It remains to be seen whether or not the Premier League returns anytime soon, even though its German counterpart in the Bundesliga, has been given the green light to restart as early as next month.
Either way, Arsenal are in dire need of defensive reinforcements in the summer. Experienced defenders in the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis have both failed to provide any solidity to the back while Calum Chambers has struggled with injuries.
As a result, Arteta has found it difficult to build a proper defensive scheme, and the lack of a proper central defensive pairing has seen the club concede numerous goals in the Premier League this term. Interestingly, the Gunners improved significantly when they did find a proper pair in Shkodran Mustafi and Luiz earlier this year.
But, that could be challenged by Mari next season, along with William Saliba, who is set to return from his loan spell at St. Etienne in the summer. The arrival, however, will likely force Arsenal to offload at least one of their centre-backs.
Nevertheless, Mari certainly remains a favourite to outwit Luiz at the heart of Arteta’s four-man backline. His composure and ability to pass the ball out from the back should relieve the pressure off Mustafi, who has arguably been the best defender for the north London giants since the turn of the year.