Arsenal have officially announced the signing of Spanish defender Pablo Mari on an initial loan deal from Brazilian club Flamengo.
The Gunners urgently needed more options in defence after a poor first half of the season from the likes of David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, with Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers perhaps also not the most reliable backup options.
Arsenal fans will now hope Mari can help them improve at the back, and technical director Edu has heaped praise on the new arrival in the announcement on the club’s official site.
Edu has explained that Arsenal have been tracking the Spanish centre-back’s progress for some time now, and that the north London giants have an agreement with Flamengo for him to initially join on loan.
He said: “Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality.
“We have been monitoring Pablo’s career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season.
“Together with Mikel (Arteta) and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt.”
The official site’s report also explicitly states AFC have the option to make this deal permanent in the summer, though it doesn’t specify what kind of fee would be needed.
Arsenal fans will hope Mari can settle quickly and give this struggling side the lift it needs.