Having signed on loan from Flamengo in January, it’s widely believed that Arsenal will make Pablo Mari a permanent signing in the summer.
The Brazilian side have already replaced him, and with the Gunners defence in need of a rebuild this summer, it would be an easy way to complete a transfer – with the player himself settling in to English football between now and May.
The Spaniard made his Premier League debut on Saturday in the 1-0 win over West Ham, following his bow in the FA Cup win over Portsmouth last Monday.
It’s clear he sees his long-term future in North London, and was asked by Sky Sports if he wanted to stay beyond the end of his nominal loan period.
“Yes, of course,” he replied. “I am so happy here. I am going to try and do my best until the end of the season.
“I hope also the club is happy with me and then we are going to find a good end of the season for everybody.
“I want to play a lot of years here with Arsenal. It is another situation and I am really happy now.”
Although he signed for Man City from Gimnastic de Tarragona in 2016, he was immediately loaned to another City group club, Girona. He never played for tomorrow night’s opponents, nor did he meet Gunners boss Mikel Arteta who was Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the Etihad.
“I didn’t meet him there,” said Mari, “so this is my first time with him.
“But everybody knows he is a really good coach. He tries to speak with me a lot and I try to learn a lot with him.
“I think it is going to be good together.”