Arsenal have managed to take off a slice of the ever-growing pressure by sealing their first signing of the summer, securing loanee Pablo Mari to a permanent deal.
The news was confirmed on Friday evening as Mari’s parent club, Flamengo, released a statement announcing that their key man would seal the deal once his loan spell at the Gunners officially ends.
Signed as a back-up central defender in January, Mari’s arrival was one that Arteta was keen on, having used the 26-year-old twice as a starter in the Premier League and once in the FA Cup.
It’s believed that there was an agreement in principle for the loan deal to be made permanent, hence why Arsenal handed over such a significant fee to obtain the his services for the remainder of the season.
However, things didn’t exactly go to plan on Wednesday night as Mari’s season came to a crashing end following an ankle ligament injury picked up in the first 23 minutes of Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat to Man City.
With David Luiz suspended and Sokratis unavailable, Mari’s absence is one that will hurt the Gunners defence between now and the end of July, with Rob Holding and Zech Medley now expected to fill in for the next two weeks.
Whilst it’s not the mega-money signing of the summer, sealing Mari is an important one and means Arteta can have one less position to worry about when he starts fresh next season.
Arsenal could have a brand new look to their central defence with William Saliba also available from the beginning of the 2020/21 campaign.
As tensions mount over David Luiz’s expensive contract situation and Sokratis continuously out of favour, it certainly shows Arteta is planning to be here for a long time.