Pablo Mari: AA’s verdict on Arsenal’s new man

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.



53 Responses to Pablo Mari: AA’s verdict on Arsenal’s new man

  1. RockyLives says:

    Thank you to the AA bloggers for their comments about Mari which have been cannibalised above.

    The most encouraging thing for me is the fact that Aaron and Allezkev compare him with the BFG.

    Per Mertesacker was an absolute class act and if Mari is 75% of the player the BFG was he will do well.

    Yes, big Per was slow and slower defenders will always get caught out once in a while (especially when left exposed to a one on one), but his reading of the game more than made up for it.

    If his legs had the speed of a Lada, his brain was pure Ferrari.

  2. Rasp says:

    Lovin’ your work Rocky.

    I think this is a classic win/win deal with Mari. Either we end up with a top defender of the quality we’ve been craving at a bargain price, or we have very decent back-up for the rest of the season.

    Personally I think he will score the winning header in the Europa League final and we will be casting Arteta’s statue for the concourse 🙂 🙂

  3. LBG says:

    Now I know you were right, Fred!
    John Cross says “£5m Cedric, who can play left back or right back”!

    Sorry Rocky, out of sequence!

  4. Pete the Thirst says:

    We haven’t got a clue until we see him play, have we? At least he’s a (pricey) loan rather than a long term money vacuum.

    If he is an updated version of Squillaci we can get rid at the end of the season. Hopefully he works out better.

  5. Pete the Thirst says:

    Just read RA’s post from yesterday. I used to follow ACLF regularly and post on there. I didn’t realise YW was gravely ill and it was terrible to hear he had passed away at only 53, leaving a wife & 3 kids. A tough time for them. RIP.

    I’ve started commenting on AA. Hopefully I can add some Arsenal stories to the mix and not annoy the regulars too much!


    “RA says:
    January 29, 2020 at 5:45 pm
    If it was mentioned on here before, I apologise in advance, but it may be news to some of you, probably not Pete the Thirst, but I recently heard that YW, (Yogi’s Warrior) the owner of ACLF and one of the best Post writer’s I have come across in the Arsenal Blogworld, passed away last weekend.
    I am stunned.
    RIP Yogi.”

  6. Rasp says:

    Hi PTF, yes, we realised ACLF was your spiritual home …. and share your admiration for yogi and sadness at his passing. Our condolences go out to his family.

    All at AA would be delighted if you choose to be a regular contributor .. .please feel free be raconteur and annoyance as much as your heart desires 🙂

  7. RockyLives says:


    Great to have you sharing your stories here on AA.

    Watch out though – there are some real weirdos around here 😀

  8. RockyLives says:

    I wonder if we’ll see Mari this weekend?

    You’d think we’d start with Sok and Luiz, but you never know.

    If he doesn’t play, it will he’ll have had almost three weeks of working with Arteta/Arsenal before he possibly starts.

  9. LB says:

    I think I was a bit hasty above.

    Mari is simply a bit of insurance just in case we have a really bad day and loose a couple of central defenders. Looking from Arteta’s position which is that he is still fighting on three fronts, why wouldn’t he want another CB?

    Although, thinking further, this signing does suggest that Arteta has his doubts about Holding at the present time…….

  10. RockyLives says:

    I had the same feeling about Arteta and Holding.

    Poor old Rob hasn’t helped himself with his recent outings.

    I say ‘poor old Rob’ because it seems like he hasn’t had a chance to get back into his stride since his serious injury.

  11. GoonerB says:

    Thanks Rocky.

    As LB says this is at worst a bit of insurance so a sensible addition. I am not sure that Arteta doesn’t see a place for Holding long term but maybe wants to ease him back to full fitness without the pressure of having to be the man right now after a long lay off.

    Mari is fit and ready so Holding aside is a 3rd option at CB. That certainly doesnt seem too many in numbers and I am not sure how bad the Mustaffi injury is either but was expecting a lengthy lay off.

    For me this whole season needs to be geared to having the strength in depth to allow us to peak in the EL. We need to try and win that. That’s also why I voted no to letting Aubamayeng go now rather than the summer. If he becomes the difference in winning the EL or not the difference in the transfer fee between now and the summer is insignificant in comparison.

  12. RA says:

    Good Afters, all you good people – from us Weirdos.

    What constitutes a “Weirdo”?

    You need to fulfil the following to be eligible to apply for membership.

    — Short or tall, extremely good looking, with a magnificent physique, and to take everything everyone else on AA says seriously, and to be a high class dissimulator, as well as a natural born story-teller.

    If you meet these requirements and apply to Rocky the Secretary of the Honourable House of Weirdos you will be rejected out of hand as the lying git you clearly are.

    Signed: Chairman RA

  13. Le Coq Monster says:

    Anyone seen Shazam ?…………………..Mari is a Zachary Levi doppleganger!

  14. RockyLives says:

    Is Shazam a genie, LCM?

    Redders 😀

  15. Le Coq Monster says:

    Short story, Rocky…………….Boy turns into Super hero by saying……………….SHAZAM!

  16. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t it used to be a TV show decades ago? I seem to remember it from my childhood.

  17. Le Coq Monster says:

    Was Old TV show and cartoon.

  18. fred1266 says:

    Shit didn’t realise we had super hero playing from us shame he is from the DC universe grr

  19. LBG says:

    Dani to stay and fight for a place. Still think his confidence on the ball, dribbling skill and “experience ” could bring us benefits towards end of season.

  20. Sue says:

    Deadline day is upon us! Apparently our only incoming will be Soares.. and our only (potential) outgoing could be Auba… but after Barca won 5-0 last night, surely not?!! Well I hope not! 2 years ago today he joined us!!
    I’m dying to see where Cavani and Jarrod Bowen end up. As well as who the Mancs end up with – talk of Rondon 😂😂😂 and even Josh King 😳….. so when I get home from work, it’ll be straight on the sofa with Sky sports news on – sorted! TGIF 😊

    I know he’s no longer on our books, but Wilshere has had yet another op – this time on a hernia – he’s only up to 16 appearances for the hammers… and he’s now 28, so no spring chicken! All that talent, yet all those injuries – what a waste! Get well soon, Jack!

  21. Rasp says:

    The one we don’t want to happen is Giroud to the totts 😡

  22. Sue says:

    Welcome to the Arsenal, Cedric 👍

  23. LBG says:

    If Giroud is so stupid ( he isnt) so be it. He never did us any damage with the Chavs, and what has he won?

  24. Pete the Thirst says:


    I see Jack W around from time to time. One thing that is really noticeable is that his legs are completely bowed. You could literally kick a ball between them if he had his feet together.

    I do wonder if that had an effect on all the injuries he has picked up?

    Anyhow he’s West Ham’s problem now and he won’t be short of a penny when he retires!

  25. fred1266 says:

    Sue remember the days when deadline the was exciting, ever since the incident in sports it hasn’t been fun to watch

  26. fred1266 says:

    Besides the Europa League nothing

  27. allezkev says:

    Sue, I can’t feeling very sad for Jack, imagine a fully fit Wilshere and Diaby running the show, one of the best midfields we never had thanks to ill fortune.

  28. LBG says:

    Hope you tell him (Jack W.) how much we appreciated him and that he will always be welcome back as, almost, a leg end.

  29. LBG says:

    Who needs deadline day! Get it done early and then we dont have to listen to Jim White drone on for hours!!!

  30. Pete the Thirst says:

    @LBG LoL

    He’s still very popular with Arsenal fans and despite a few well publicised issues in the past he keeps a pretty low profile.

    Were his issues down to Wenger playing him through the Red Zone? We’ll never know.

  31. LBG says:

    Actually, Jim White all is forgiven, compared to Rob….lunatic.

  32. LBG says:

    I think it was a combination of that “red zone” issue, Jack’s rickets/physical frailties and that tendency to make that last minute 50/50 challenge, no protection from referees and finally, not much “never give up” support in midfield for the Club at that time.

  33. Sue says:

    Pete.. He’s never been able to catch a pig down an alley with those legs! Seems to be injured all the time…surely it’ll only be a matter of time before he goes into coaching….

  34. Sue says:

    Hi Kev.. 👍 Yes that would have been the stuff dreams are made of!!

  35. Sue says:

    I know, Fred… but I’m still sad enough to sit and watch it…. but if it becomes too much for me (Jim White’s voice)…. I’ve always got the Chelsea highlights on my planner, so can sit and watch Martinelli’s goal again 😍😂

  36. fred1266 says:

    Cedric Soares is to join Arsenal on loan from Southampton until the end of the season, the Gunners have confirmed.

    The Portugal full-back adds further defensive reinforcement to a depleted Arsenal backline, which was also boosted by the addition of Pablo Mari earlier this week.

    Cedric has made 138 appearances for the Saints since joining from Sporting CP in 2015 and spent time on loan at Inter in Serie A last term.

    “For me, Arsenal are a top team. They are a very, very good club, with fantastic fans as well,” Cedric, whose move is subject to the completion of regulatory processes, told the club’s official website.

    “They are known to be so well supported and for me, it’s a pleasure to be here.

    “Like I said, it’s a dream come true because I always thought about coming here and imagined it, and seeing it happen is really amazing.”


    He’s our Cedric! ✅

    Welcome to London. Welcome to Arsenal.

    👋 @OficialCedric

    Embedded video
    6:30 AM – Jan 31, 2020
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    11.2K people are talking about this
    Asked about new Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, he added: “It’s good to watch.

    “I’ve been watching the last couple of weeks as well. You can see that something changed, definitely.

    “There is a lot of work to do but definitely already his ideas have started to appear in the game, that is good. I am sure Arsenal will be very successful.”

    Cedric has made 33 appearances for Portugal, winning Euro 2016 and featuring at the 2018 World Cup.

    Arsenal are 10th in the Premier League, a point and a place below Southampton.

  37. LB says:

    Just listened to Arseblog for the low down on our new signings, both got pretty good reports.
    I wrote above that Mari must simply be a bit of insurance but maybe he is a bit more than that.
    That said, if Mari is a bit more than insurance then Soares seems certainly to be only that, if Hector’s knee goes again on Sunday we could be up the swanee.
    Mah, its always good to get to watch new players, anyway.

  38. Sue says:

    So.. Cavani is staying put until the summer. Bowen is off to West Ham!!!
    And now on Sky it says Emery claims the fans got him the sack!!! What!!!! 😳

  39. RockyLives says:

    So we have Cedric the Entertainer in our squad. Splendid.

    Both he and Mari seem like very sensible acquisitions.

    And I’m delighted if the stories are true that Arteta was having none of that other defender that Sanelhi wanted to sign.

  40. RockyLives says:

    Any updates on Ollie G?

  41. LBG says:

    Ollie G going nowhere!

  42. Le Coq Monster says:

    Finally the day the Transfer Window Lickers can put their tongues away and back to using Windolene!

  43. RockyLives says:

    That’s good news – thanks LBG

  44. LBG says:

    Emery destroying what positive legacy he did have!

  45. allezkev says:

    Well tbh, the fans did get Emery the sack, but has Unai stopped to ask himself why?

  46. Sue says:

    Kev.. no mention of the players he dropped, played out of position, the tactics.. the boring football…. funny that, or is that yet to come?! 😄

  47. LBG says:

    Best news of the weekend so far…..Ashley Barnes is injured!

  48. fred1266 says:

    Ok emery is deluded can’t

  49. fred1266 says:

    Any names rocky

  50. fred1266 says:

    Don’t think emery ever had a positive legacy

  51. fred1266 says:

    He been injured a while LBG, Rodriguez seems to have taken up his boots though

  52. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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