The Gunners have finalised a loan move to the Flamengo centre-back which will incorporate a choice to purchase in the summer – but where will he match? Arsenal’s priority during this transfer window is to bring into a left-sided centre-back.
Matviyenko finally proved much too expensive with this window, using the cheap Mari a lot more appealing solution for the north London club.
Mari’s coming will address an issue for head trainer Mikel Arteta, who’s seen his choices stretched at centre-back ever because Calum Chambers ruptured the cruciate ligament in his left knee in the game against Chelsea a month.
Chambers won’t play again this year and there were worries Shkodran Mustafi may join him about the long term accident list when he had been stretchered off from Bournemouth on Monday night.
Scans, however, have proven that the German only suffered a sprain and maybe back the moment the match with Newcastle United following the mid-season break.
This will mean Arteta will venture into the last weeks of this year with five centre-backs to pick from in Mari, Mustafi, David Luiz, Sokratis and Rob Holding.
As a result, it is going to be intriguing to learn how the Spanish trainer uses this quintet when are completely fit. So, fitness might be a problem.
But once he’s up to speed, the chance is that Arteta will wish to use him together with David Luiz because the left-sided centre-back, though that would signify that the Brazilian switching to the side.
Having centre-backs that are familiar with the ball at their feet is essential to the way Arteta needs Arsenal to perform with and Mari’s passing skill is just one of the key strengths.
Lining up at a flat back four, he’ll work closely together with Granit Xhaka, that will frequently fall deep to fill as a third centre-back along with Mari and Luiz, particularly whenever the left-back — if it’s Bukayo Saka Sead Kolasinac or even Kieran Tierney — moves forward to support the assault.
Arteta also enjoys his centre-backs to have the ability to play diagonal balls into the wingers. Luiz is comfy in that respect and Mari owns a superb selection of long departure, which ought to see him fit in well at Emirates Stadium.
Mari can be seen as an organiser, somebody who reads the game tremendously well. He came to Brazil in Manchester City in July This past Year and altered the Flamengo defence in a matter of months.
“He had been unknown, he arrived in very chilly and has been thrown in at the deep end, however, he piled it out to them (Flamengo) totally superbly.
“For me personally, then that coasted its way into the Brazilian championship, won the South American name and gave Liverpool a match at the Club World Cup final, I believe he had been the most crucial player.
“He is by no way that the most glamorous, but front four with the goals being scored by Gabriel Barbosa and Bruno Henrique, it would not have worked had the group never managed to shield with a tall lineup and Pablo Mari was the guy behind most of that, he had been excellent.”
In addition to adding some quality into the defensive places, Mari are also a threat from the resistance box. He’s quite great in the air and strikes set bits very well.
“He had a fantastic time with Flamengo. Defensively, he helped them a great deal and that he deserves a whole lot of credit”
The achievement Mari appreciated in Brazil having come as a relative unknown from Manchester City was enormous and Arteta would be trusting the centre-back may have a similar type of impact in Arsenal within the coming weeks as the Gunners put their sights on the FA Cup and Europa League.