Kevin Campbell has told Arsenal to cash-in on Pablo Mari with reported interest from former club Flamengo in order to make room for William Saliba.
The Gunners have the likes of Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes as options as centre-back, with Mari having been limited to just two appearances in the Premier League thus far.
In fact, the Spaniard hasn’t featured in any of our last 13 league matches, although you would still assume that he was just one injury away from starting.
I don’t think I’m making any huge assumptions by believing that Mari’s lack of minutes are down to Gabriel’s impressive season thus far, with the two left-footed defenders vying for the LCB role in the team, which could well mean that Arteta would be reluctant to offload the defender.
Campbell believes that the club must begin to make room for William Saliba’s return to the squad however, insisting that he will be coming back to challenge for a first-team role next term.
“Arsenal have to start clearing the decks, definitely,” our former striker told the FootballInsider.
“Saliba is coming back next season so they need to make room for him. Saliba has been doing so well in France.
“People are saying, ‘The manager doesn’t fancy him.’ But he does fancy him.
“The key is, when he does come back he needs to be given opportunities. He needs to be starting or close to starting. I think that will be the case next season.
“For that reason, a deal for Pablo Mari could be beneficial in the long run. It could help Saliba’s development.”
As much as it may be the intention of both the club and Arteta to bring Saliba back next season, the manager has already shown a strong belief in playing a left-footer in the left role at centre-back, so Mari may not be competition for the young Frenchman regardless.
It may make more sense to be looking at exits for Rob Holding or Calum Chambers if Saliba is the reasoning for moving defenders on however…
Can you see the Spaniard allowing Mari to leave in January without another left-footer coming into the squad?