Pablo Mari made his Arsenal debut in last night’s 2-0 win over Portsmouth in the FA Cup.
While it wasn’t the most difficult test from a defensive point of view, the Spaniard put in a good showing, playing the 90 minutes and impressing on the ball in particular.
His range of passing was on show throughout, and it was perhaps some evidence of why we brought him to the club from Flamengo in January.
His bow in Arsenal colours pleased boss Mikel Arteta, who now has another option at his disposal between now and May.
“I think he looked comfortable,” said the manager. “He is very vocal and very comfortable on the ball, always commanding the back four.
“He looked like he’s played here for months. I think we have a good player.”
The 26 year old also impressed defensive partner David Luiz, who also had some words for the young players who were drafted into the team. The Gunners started with six players of 20 or under, and after a difficult start controlled the game and deserved the win.
“I’m so happy for Pablo,” said Luiz. “He’s a great guy, a great player and he had an amazing game so we are here to help each other and we are here, 25 players, ready to play, ready to play for Arsenal and ready to give the best job.
“When it’s like that it’s a pleasure to play football as I will say to the guys, especially to these young lads who are starting football.
“They are starting with a great opportunity at a big club and they are doing great, so it’s a pleasure to play with them.”