Arsenal have confirmed the loan signing of Spanish defender Pablo Mari from Brazilian side Flamengo.

The 26-year-old joins initially until the end of the season, paying Flamengo a fee of around €5m, although the Gunners have an option to make the deal permanent. In the process, he becomes the first signing of the Mikel Arteta era.

Mari has an interesting CV. He started his career with Mallorca and spent three seasons with Gimnastic before being signed by Manchester City in 2016.

He was immediately loaned to umbrella club Girona for a year and then went on to further year-long stints with Dutch side NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna. He will have crossed paths with Arteta during his spell in Manchester but he never played for City’s first team.

Last year, he moved to Flamengo for around £1 million – becoming just the third Spaniard to play for the club. He helped the Rio giants to domestic and continental success picking up Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores titles and recently featured in the extra-time defeat to Liverpool in the final of the Club World Cup.

At 6’3, he’s an imposing figure and he’s already fluent in English so communication with his teammates will not be an issue.

The Gunners have been linked with numerous centre-backs since Calum Chambers was ruled out for the foreseeable future following ACL surgery.

Jerome Boateng, Dayot Upamecano and Mykola Matviyenko were all mentioned as possible targets but it looks as though things have swung in Pablo Mari’s favour thanks to Edu’s connections in Brazil, Arteta’s first-hand knowledge of him and the fact his agent, Arturo Canales, is a close associate of Sanllehi.

Welcome to Arsenal, Pablo.

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Ólafur

Welcome to the Gunners Mari!

Amusa

Please be better than Mustafi. That’s all we ask 🙂

Tómas

Give the Mustafi thing a rest already.

Amusa

Not a hater. But its unreal how one half a good game and we’ve seen to forgiven the dozens of mistakes he’s made in the past.
I know he’s a good bloke but the poor Mustafi angle doesnt sit well with me. I hope he recovers soon but dont want to see him on the pitch for us unless in a dead rubber game.

jabb

still give it a rest now lets try to get pass those immature behavior.

hustle6

Yo Amusa Sorry about all the down votes. -It’s ’cause on the arsecast, Andrew spoke about cussing a guy who was cussing Mustafi on facebook. Andrew’s super fans, with this in mind, are frantically downliking your comment of “please be better than Mustafi” which is a more than logical request. I just had to clarify this, the people aren’t insane and upset at the idea of Mari being superior to Mustafi they just worship Andrew’s opinions and do whatever he says. As a looooong time user of this site I have to say it’s been fun to see this contingent… Read more »

Tómas

What does slamming and hating on Mustafi and cramming him into every conversation have to do with Andrew? It’s just unbelievable how some people MUST include Mustafi into everything. So yeah, give it a rest, we all get it, it’s negative and very old at this point.

Billy Bob

Yeah it’s the same with other people always bleating on about Ozil, Xhaka and why we most definitely should have signed Mahrez (spelling) and seemingly pony signings being a bandaid!! All very repetitive and dogmatic!!

Ho hum

Yeah that’s right, Hustle6. You are getting down votes because “everyone” is
being ordered to by Andrew.
It’s nothing to do with posting a shit
comment.

Yeah, whatever floats your boat.
And your girlfriend said you were shit in bed for the same reason.

Chidi

That’s how forgiveness works

CountLeaf

there’s time and place for commenting on players. no one’s saying Musti is forgiven, and it’s all well commenting about his brainfarts on player rating articles or match reports – but beating the same drum on every damn piece on arseblog is just hellishly boring.

i get it’s about our new defender, so there’s a connection of sorts – but just maybe let’s focus on the actual signing and the resulting positives instead of just defaulting to regular moaning about someone this article is not about.

Prakhar

We should be asking more of him lol.

Artetas Assistant

Pablo is here to stay

NMArsenal

Well Arsenal finally signed someone in CB. That in itself is quite surprising.

Alex Nagy

How so? We signed David Luiz in the summer transfer window

antony

and saliba!

Joe

They just like to moan everytime the club does something, its like negativity fuels their life.

Rich

We’re well overdue in getting a centre half signing spectacularly right.

He looks like he’s built for it, hopefully he’s got a turn of pace and some good tekkers as well.

FantasticMrKim

From what I’ve read he’s not particularly quick, but has excellent positioning. The descriptions I’ve read remind me of Mertesacker

Geefive

Was thinking the same thing in relation to Mert. Perhaps the new BFS? Same initials too….

Laca New Signing

There’s only one BFG!

Ollie1roddy

Looks like a good ol’ fashioned center back, been missing one of those since Kolo!

Frank Bascombe

What’s Holding then?

Arseta

This was probably kept in the Chambers but what we Mustafi him considering he is injured.

Ollie1roddy

injured in perpetuity

Make Arsenal Great Again

What about Koscielny or Per? Those weren’t “good oil’ fashioned” enough for you?

Cd78

“Ol’ ashioned centre back” Kolo? He was a repurposed midfielder! ?

Laca New Signing

If it’s Ol’ fashioned CB you’re looking for, you have to go all the way back to Sol Campbell I think. Kolo was a midfielder converted into a CB by the genius of Wenger.

Billy Bob

Totally agree with the Sol Campbell comment!!

Ollie1roddy

Fair enough! Been a bloody long time though!

George

There was nothing remotely old-fashioned about Kolo as a centre back…

Been a couple since though.

Takeshita

Welcome Mari, welcome to the greatest club the world has ever seen.

Dave cee

5m Euro is a lot for 4 months. Better be permanent

Baldy

There is literally no pleasing some people

karl

It is odd when you think the purchase fee would have not been much more. I guess the club don’t want to be tied to wages if it doesn’t work out. Smart
really.

Gervinho is Driving

I think the fee is a legitimate question, and not typical Arsenal moaning. We need a competent body at CB to get through this season. Next season we’ll have at least Saliba, Holding and Luiz available, plus Socrates and Chambers as possibilities. £5 for four months service from an unproven player seems excessive.

Gervinho is Driving

£5 and some crisps!

David C

A BFG replacement?

Here’s hoping!

chepetin

A BFS

Anonymarse

Don’t they make furniture

Arseteta

A Big F*****g Shark????

Magic City Gooner

Alto Fuckin’ Español?

Bienvenidos, Pablo Marisacker

AbsolutelyMarvellous

Good business. If he comes in and does well, it’s a great acquisition and at a likely modest price. If it doesn’t work out, we’ve lost very little financially. Of course I’d prefer the former!

Welcome to The Arsenal, Mari.

Kostas

Some of our January buys the last years flourished like Nacho but most of our loans were at least puzzling Kim and Dennis.

Which one it will be?

Martin

Don’t forget Aubameyang

Kostas

Well I tried to mention some relatively low reputation and status.

Teakster

How dare you slander King Kim! Okay, maybe ‘king’ is a smidge too far, but don’t forget he scored in the FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout, on route to us winning a first trophy in nine years

Gooney Tunes

I think we’re a-loan now…

¡Bienvenido a Arsenal, Pablo!

Fireman Sam

Now you’ve got me humming that damn tune!

Huss

Pablo is certainly going to make our team look much more hunky. Can’t put a price on that.

Also, I got a nickname for him: JIRAFA. Good lord, look at the neck on that lad. Absolute unit.

Sliding Campbell

The face of jet lag

C.B.

Goid move. Hope it works out well.

Longbow

The universe works in strange ways. When I was watching the Liverpool Vs Flamengo last month, I said to myself that this Mari guy is pretty damn good. He was immense in that match. I told myself that we need a defender like him at Arsenal as he’s probably better than what we’ve got. He’s left footed as well and is an excellent distributor. Never thought it would happen. Maybe Edu was listening to me.

Hopefully, it isn’t one game and he’s just as good as he was against Liverpool.

chepetin

Your Samsung voice activated telly was
listening to everything you said and
sent a transcript directly to Edu.

Hunter

Before he joined Arsenal I saw Torreira play a friendly with Sampdoria vs a pretty strong manchester united team. He was a tornado of activity and one of the best players on the pitch that night. Thought we could use some of that then it happened. I’m sure others have similar stories but it’s always cool when that happens.

cagooner

I saw Mesi play against Arsenal at the Nou Camp. I said to myself – “i could really see that guy fitting in well with the 2020 Arsenal squad”………..

Longbow

I had another similar experience with Cazorla. I first saw him appear as a substitute for Spain in a friendly. I was incredible in that 20 minute cameo. I think it was around March 2012 I think. I thought he is the one we need who can replace Cesc. And in the summer Wenger buys him. I was over the moon when we signed him. I remember people were uncertain about him when we signed him. I quitely said to myself, “Just you wait and see this magician on the pitch.”

Longbow

He was incredible in that 20 minute cameo.*

Oli

He played the whole game

Longbow

I was talking about Cazorla regarding the cameo.

Gooney Tunes

I used to watch a lot of German football and always liked the way Per played. Was ecstatic when we signed him. Pretty sure we’ve all got these stories!

Laca New Signing

When I read that Aubameyang was having “disciplinary” issues at Dortmund, I remember saying to myself, “why don’t they let him come to Arsenal, he can really flourish here”. You can guess my emotions when Arsenal went for him that January!

Jijo

Well.. mine is a little different. I cried when Bergkamp did ‘that’ against my then favorite team Argentina in 1998 World Cup QF.. I hated him with all I could..and it took ages to get over it! I didn’t even know a club like Arsenal existed back then..and Bergkamp played for them.. Years later when I came to know who he really was, I was relieved of that pain.. because I realized he could have done that kind of magic to any fucking team any moment..

N10

WOOHOO! Great news! Bienvenidos!

Merlin's Panini

Excellent news. I hope it works out for him. It’s kind of a second chance given he never got a game at City. Given they had him in the first place he must have something about him. Welcome to Arsenal.

theLowCrows

He does not look jet-lagged one bit despite travelling to London from Brazil, then back to Brazil and then back to London in the space of 3 days.

Lix

Pictures and interview were done before leaving for Brazil

Thierry Walcott

Welcome to the greatest club in the world, Mari! Good luck

GraeB

Good business for Flamengo, signed for £1m and let out again at £1m per month. Is he BFG, and the same turning circle, or VVD and a defensive brain?

Santori

That’s actually very smart of Raul (He’s been better than Mslintat in that respect)

He knows the Brasilian club stand to make money and they won’t say no.

He knows he can afford to stay firm and get a loan that won’t cost us in long run should the defender fail to impress.

And we get some sort of back up (a hungry one to boot) that will give Arteta a little more assurance in a problematic area he failed to resolve last summer.

Merlin's Panini

Not really related but I just discovered there is a centre back called Juankar!
Plays for Malaga apparently. He would have been perfect behind Coq. Oh well.

chepetin

Then we’d have to bring back Seaman in
goal

Mesut O’Neill

€5m for a 4 month loan of a nobody. I see nothing has changed with the transfer policy ??‍♂️

meke

this nobody won everything in the American league. please check your facts before you make a post

SharpasFc

Your comment literally exposes your knowledge of football as zero!

Make Arsenal Great Again

Because you’ve not seen him play doesn’t mean he is a nobody. It obviously doesn’t mean he can’t play. With that logic, Koscielny was a major failure. He was also a “nobody” when we signed him from the second division on france. How did that turn out? The shallow logic of football fans is annoying to no end. Let’s see what he can do on the field.

Merson's Grin

Guendouzi was a ‘nobody’!

Laca New Signing

Michael Owen is that you? You don’t have to express yourself on everything. Some you know, some (most) you don’t.

Arseteta

I haven’t seen him play but Tim Vickery seems to rate him highly and he is also a defender who can play in a high line. Fingers crossed this works out! Our loan record has been poor.

bendtnerschristmastree

welcome to the arsenal mario pabl

Don Cazorleone

We’ve got a big fucking Spaniard

aberinkula

Ceballos grew a beard and learned a tackle in an effort to get gain time, and fair play to the man.

Arteta's hair gel

Am not fully convinced about him, but hopefully he can do a decent job. Welcome Pablo.

GoonerMonkey

Ooooh a DEFENDER! Welcome to the Arsenal, Pablo.

Hopefully he’ll settle in with the squad during their break. It’s almost like a mini pre-season. Hopefully with Arteta already knowing him will mean he’ll be able to get the most out of his countryman.

Its good that he’ll help us to get to the end of the season, then we can take a look at this ramshackle defense and figure out who our 1st back 4 (or 3) are.

Luiz, Sokratis, Holding, Chambers, Mavropanos, Mustafi, Saliba, and Mari (if we sign him)… is quite a lot.

C.B.

I’d like a tough, big, athletic central midfielder to protect them (eg like Gilberto, Petit).

GoonerMonkey

Agreed, I’d like someone like Sander Berge from Genk. He’s 6’5″!

Ak47

Hope he is good tackler. Love me a good tackling CB

Prakhar

If he does simple things right, there is no way he doesn’t become one of the defensive mainstays in our side. Man City saw something that’s why they signed him in the first place. It’s still there, and now on top of a more experienced head. Great piece of business. We will definitely be making this one permanent come the summer.

K-Gooner

Welcome to The Arsenal Pablo! Hope you become the best with us! COYG

Torterrier

Welcome! Really looking forward to seeing him play, I hope that he doesn’t end up a dud like most of our other loans.

Santori

On loan makes sense.

Low risk and cover.

I could not see a buy. It would simply add numbers but may stick us with a player hard to off load (again)

Santori

Height will be useful as well. We have been vulnerable to crosses.

One of the qualities the much derided Mustafi has is good aerial ability.

Holding has some height but clearly the boss isn’t yet thoroughly convinced with him.

So Mari adds a bit of height and cover plus competition with a loan that will not saddle us with issues moving him on should he fail to deliver.

Santori

Raul didn’t buckle. Kudos to him.

Sent the player home and got what we wanted in a low risk loan without commitment on our side long term that may run risk of offload issues should Mari prove false.

Mari gets a good third bite of the cherry too so should be hungry having previously not done enough to impress at City or carve a career out in Spain from his loans.

and we get back up as Arteta (Sokratis aside) likely yet to be convinced with Holding or Luiz (never mind Mustafi)

Santori

Be interesting in the summer. We will see some culling for sure at Cback. 1) Sokratis likely retained as senior and our more consistent defender. 2) Holding still needs to convince and now has competition. 3) Saliba we spent 27m on likely will come in. Also relatively untested. 4) Mari will be assessed at end of loan spell. All 3 of Saliba, Holding and Mari with decent height. 5) Chambers prob back but massive question mark on where he plays. Rback potentially but AMN has more strength and pace and has been decent in a role he has been playing… Read more »

Santori

Interesting for market as well since soem players Martinelli and now Mari (from S America) getting opportunities from lower level clubs. Opens up the market a bit more and hopefully acts to deflate pricing which is insane on the continent. Wenger did this some time back 2012-13 when clubs like City, United, Chelsea got in the game hunting younger talents bc of home grown ruling thereby jacking up prices. Instead he quietly switched attention away from young players (which he was accuse of being a paedophile by some cretins back then) and went for older players who may have become… Read more »

Feeezedawg of Sweden

Just checked him out on youtube. The guy is a true BEAST. 4th in the bag. Hype is real.
COYG!!

John

Welcome to Arsenal Pablo. Hope you do really well here.
As far as I can remember, Arsenal’s academy has not produced a first team regular central defender since Tony Adams in the late 1980s.
Can anyone correct me there? If I’m right, that is mad.
Why don’t we get Tony back to coach 10 year-olds defence?

Dan nichols

he looks like Rylan