Loaned-out Arsenal defender sends clear message to Mikel Arteta over his future

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Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has made it clear he’d like to stay at Udinese after enjoying his time on loan with the Serie A club.

The Spaniard hadn’t been playing regularly for Mikel Arteta’s side before his move to Italy this season, and it’s not too surprising to hear that he’s now keen to stay at the club permanently.

“When I arrived in January, I had a clear and precise idea,” Mari told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I told the coach and [club owner] Gino Pozzo that I was coming to play. But I realized that I had to earn the job day after day, workout after workout. [Head coach] Cioffi was the first who welcomed me, well, here.

“It’s the right league for me. Very tactical. I try to bring the attacker towards me.

“I really like having the ball and here it can be done and then there is the battle and I like having a battle on the pitch. I would like to stay in Italy.”

Arsenal probably don’t have much room for Mari now, with plenty of investment going into the likes of Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes in central defence, while youngster William Saliba will surely also be a first-team option next season once he returns from his loan spell at Marseille.

Mari showed some potential when he first joined the Gunners, but it perhaps seems clear now that he’s not quite at that level, and a move to somewhere like Udinese would probably be for the best for everyone involved.

Arsenal now just need to ensure they get decent money from selling the 28-year-old, as they will probably need to sell before they can buy this summer.

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