Pablo Mari finally made his Arsenal debut this week in the 2-0 cup victory over Portsmouth in the FA Cup, and is staking a claim to make his Premier League debut this weekend.
The Spanish centre-back was drafted in on Tuesday in order for Hector Bellerin to be rested, and he was more than competent alongside David Luiz at the back.
Reporters moved to question coach Mikel Arteta whether the 26 year-old was in contention to start against West Ham this weekend, to which he replied: ‘Well he has recovered really well from the game. He had 45 minutes with the Under-23s four days before that game.
‘He played 90 minutes, he said he’s physically good, he trained well and I think he’s ready to play if we need him to on Saturday. ‘
This doesn’t quite spell out ‘Mari will be starting on the weekend’, but Arteta looks willing to include him in the squad which may come as a blow to Rob Holding who had to watch from the bench on Tuesday night, and now has a fight for minutes on his hands.
One player who will miss out is Torreira however, who fell foul of a terrible tackle against Pompey in midweek.
‘We don’t actually know the extent of the injury,’ confirmed the head coach during his pre-match press conference. ‘He needs to see the specialist tomorrow here in London and then we will know more about it.’
Does Pablo look like he has what it takes to make it at Arsenal? Does he deserve a chance to play against West Ham or does he have too many ahead of him in the bid to play?