Pablo Mari has finally been signed by Arsenal after an on-again-off-again courtship.
Given that our central defenders are dropping like Totteringham hopes in May, any addition to the back line seems welcome to me.
But how good is Mari? What type of player is he? What will he bring to our team in what promises to be a fascinating second half of the season?
Here is what Arsenal Arsenal regulars have had to say about him in recent days, kicking off with Fred, who was kind enough to share a brief bio of the new man:
Mari joined Manchester City in 2016 but never played for the first team, leaving for Flamengo last July after loan stints at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo La Coruna. The 26-year-old was a key figure under Jorge Jesus, who led the Rio de Janeiro giants to the Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores titles.
Mari was regarded to be in the top three CBs last season in Brazil and during the Copa Libertadores. Big bloke, good feet but slow. I suppose it’s a good back up plan to have him. He may be a slower and less aggressive version of Sokratis. Not sure we will keep him beyond the end of the season. Let’s see.
I think Mari is the cheap back up. If it works out good, if not we don’t have to keep him. Smart move by Arteta.
Mari has to be good business even if only until the end of the season. He’s 26, 6ft 3in, left footed and particularly noted for his ball playing skills and his ability to bring the ball out from the back. He would appear to be exactly what we need… a very decent signing.
Tim Vickery (south American football expert) speaks very highly of him and says it would be a major coup if we manage to sign him.
Watched him against ‘Pool, he was solid! Another BFG in speed and ability to read the game?
I had a look at clips of Mari and he looks decent, although I wondered if he was a tad on the slow side, and he did seem to go to ground a lot with his tackling. He won all of those in the clips, obviously, but I would be unsure how many he may mistime.
The premier league is faster so I hope it doesn’t turn out that he finds the sliding tackles he was making, he suddenly is just slightly late with, otherwise that would make him a slightly bigger version of Mustaffi.
That said, Arteta will already know him from his time at City so will have seen him on the training ground and, if he feels he is good enough, so be it.
Too slow? He will fit in brilliantly with the other CBs and Xhaka, and will form part of our brilliant Invincible Snails!!
Mari reminds me of BFG, reads the game with no frills defending, so are we in the process of signing a Big Flippin’ Spaniard?
My “Scousers with the mouthers” say he’s an upgrade on what we have, but slow.
I say wait until the new bigger and better Virgil van Dijk arrives in the Summer…S..A..L..I..B..A..
Mari? Hope he settles in quick.
I don’t quite get the need for another central defender, don’t we have enough to get us to the end of the season? And then we have the addition of Saliba…
So, good business? Or an unnecessary move when we might have been better coping with what we have and waiting for Saliba to arrive in the summer?
My take, without having ever seen him play, is that I’m encouraged by his size, by the good reports that have come out of South America about him and by the fact that he is well known to Mikel Arteta.
Like RC78, it seems a decent risk to take him on loan. If he blows us away with his performances we have the option to buy him at the end of the season.
Time will tell.