Pablo Mari has indicated he’d be happy to stay in Serie A when his current loan deal with Udinese expires.
The 28-year-old moved to the Dacia Arena in January and has been a near ever-present in the heart of caretaker coach Gabriele Cioffi’s defence.
Having featured just once for Arsenal in the first half of the season, Mari has started eight of Udinese’s last nine games. The only game he missed came as the result of a suspension.
“When I arrived in January, I had a clear and precise idea,” he told Gazetta dello Sport.
“I told the coach and [club owner] Gino Pozzo that I was coming to play. But I realized that I had to earn the job day after day, workout after workout. [Coach] Cioffi was the first who welcomed me, well, here.
“It’s the right championship for me. Very tactical. I try to bring the attacker towards me.
“I really like having the ball and here it can be done and then there is the battle and I like having a battle on the pitch. I would like to stay in Italy.”
He added: “I’m very well at Udinese and I’d be happy to take the club even higher in the standings. Of course, I still have a two-year contract with Arsenal.
“I’ve resumed playing continuously after the operation on my left ankle where I was out for five months.”
It’s great to hear that Pablo is enjoying his football in Italy.
When we last heard from him in March, he was singing Mikel Arteta’s praises and keen to make clear that he still dreams of making it at Arsenal.
In truth, with Gabriel and Ben White doing well this year and William Saliba likely to be brought back into the fold, it seems very unlikely Mari will get his chance to shine in London. With that in mind, we suspect the club won’t stand in his way if Udinese, or another Italian club, come forward with a half-decent offer this summer.