[Photos] Pablo Mari poses in Arsenal shirt after completing £4.5m move

By on January 29, 2020

pablo mari arsenal

Pablo Mari has been posing in his new Arsenal shirt after completing an initial loan move from Flamengo today.

We’ve been in the market for a new centre-back all month after Calum Chambers was ruled out for at least six months wit a knee ligament injury and Mari emerged as a target last week with widespread reports suggesting we were in talks with Flamengo.

It looked like it was a ‘done deal’ when Mari was spotted with Arsenal technical director Edu at London Heathrow Airport on Saturday and the defender reportedly underwent a medical in north London.

The proposed deal then stalled after Flamengo accused Arsenal of trying to change the terms of the agreement at the last minute. The Brazilians seemingly wanted a permanent deal but Arsenal were only interested in a loan with an option to buy in the summer.

Arsenal managed to get their own way as a breakthrough was reached on Tuesday night with GloboSporte claiming a deal was agreed that would see Arsenal pay £4.5m to sign Mari on loan until the end of the season.

The 26-year-old flew back to London over-night to finalise the move and we’ve announced the deal on Arsenal.com this afternoon with the club confirming there is an option to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Mari has expressed his delight at joining Arsenal and explained how the move unfolded. He told Arsenal.com:

“When I spoke to my agent, it was a big thing that Arsenal were interested in me. This is one of the best clubs in the world, so I’m absolutely delighted to be joining. I’m really looking forward to playing in this jersey and helping my team.

“The conversations started a couple of weeks ago. Arsenal told us that they were interested. We’d just won everything with Flamengo – I won the league and the Copa Libertadores and was also named best centre-back in America, so that will have helped Arsenal notice me.

“It’s a great achievement for me to come to Arsenal and it all happened in basically two weeks.

Mari becomes Mikel Arteta’s first signing since he arrived as manager in December and he’ll give us another vital option in the middle of defence during the second half of the season.

The Spaniard failed to make the grade during a three-year spell at Man City but has excelled since joining Flamengo in 2018 and he impressed during their narrow 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Club World Cup final last month.

Hopefully he can adapt quickly to life in the Premier League as we badly need to improve at the back but he has to be an upgrade on Shkdoran Mustafi at the very least, so it’s a positive signing!