Mikel Arteta makes hugely encouraging claim about Arsenal new-boy

Pablo Mari has made a strong early impression at Arsenal.

Pablo Mari may not have been the big-name signing many fans were craving this January, but the early signs are hugely encouraging from the Spaniard.

Mari joined us on loan from Flamengo this winter and it’s not yet clear if he’ll end up moving to the Emirates Stadium permanently, but it sounds like manager Mikel Arteta is hugely impressed with the way he’s settled in.

After a strong debut in the FA Cup win over Portsmouth, Mari made his Premier League bow for us over the weekend in the 1-0 win over West Ham, playing 90 minutes and looking assured alongside David Luiz in central defence.

Speaking after the game, Arteta made the encouraging claim that the 26-year-old has quickly established himself as a vocal presence and a leader in the squad, as well as displaying plenty of technical qualities in his game.

“I think he was very good and in the first half he took a few moments to sort out what he needed to do,” Arteta said, as quoted by the Metro.

“He’s brave, he’s willing, he’s impressive without the ball and he has a presence. He is very vocal around his team even if he’s only been two days here, but he has that ability and that character. I’m really pleased with him.”

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