David Luiz says Flamengo coach Jorge Jesus has told him that Pablo Mari is ready for the Premier League.
Luiz and Jesus struck up a strong bond when the pair were at Benfica together and have stayed in touch ever since with the Brazilian defender keeping particularly close tabs on the Portuguese coach when he accepted a position in his homeland.
Jesus has earned plaudits for his work in Rio where he led Flamengo to both the Campeonato Brasiliero and Copa Libertadores titles with Pablo Mari in the centre of defence.
“I speak with Jorge every week, he’s really my friend,” Luiz told the Evening Standard. “He told me to welcome him in the best way because Pablo is ready to play.
“He’s a great player, he did amazing in Brazil under Jorge Jesus, a coach I know very well. Jorge is my friend and one of the top coaches in the world.
“It was a pleasure for me seeing Pablo and Rodrigo Caio, another friend, doing really well in Brazil. I hope Pablo can help us.
“Pablo was courageous, not scared to try something big [by moving to Brazil]. It was the same with Jorge Jesus, to go to Brazil as a European coach.”
Luiz also welcomed greater competition for places at Arsenal with Cedric Soares also joining in the January transfer window.
“I think it’s good, it’s good when you have a squad with a lot of quality and players. We have a game every week, you have to be happy with this,” he said.
“I always want to play, always want to play in the way the coach wants to play. It doesn’t matter the side, it doesn’t matter which position.
“You guys know I played a lot of positions during my career. I’m always ready for that.”