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Mikel Arteta hints at Arsenal debut for January signing in FA Cup tie

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says that January signing Pablo Mari could be in for a debut in the club’s next game against Portsmouth in the FA Cup, according to reports in the Mirror.

The young centre back hasn’t featured for the Gunners first team since signing from Flamengo but played some vital minutes for the Arsenal U23 side against Manchester City’s U23 team recently.

Speaking about Mari and other Arsenal youngsters during his press conference ahead of the London outfit’s trip to Portsmouth, as cited by the Mirror, Arteta said, “Yes, I think he need minutes, like Rob did, like Ainsley and like Reiss as well.”

“I think it was a good game for them to get their fitness levels tested as well and they trained today really well. They are all, I think, ready to play.”

Arteta who won the FA Cup twice while he was at Arsenal, had some time to reminisce and recollect those moments, saying “It’s really special,”

“It’s probably one of the nicest games and days of the season when you play the final day in England, at Wembley, nice weather and an incredible atmosphere.”

“And you know, it’s a trophy that’s been very much linked with our history. So we want to continue to be attached to that, knowing that on Monday night in Portsmouth, it will be tough.” he added

The Gunners are left with the FA Cup being the only cup competition the club are still in contention for after bowing out of the Europa League following their 2-1 extra-time defeat at the hands of Olympiacos in their round of 32 fixture earlier this week.

The London club now turn their attention to Portsmouth and their FA Cup 5th round tie on Monday night.

 

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