Mikel Arteta reflects on the performance of Pablo Mari against Portsmouth

Mikel Arteta has heaped praise on Pablo Mari after the Spaniard finally made his debut for the Gunners.

Pablo Mari joined the Gunners from Flamengo in the January transfer window, but he had to wait until the FA Cup against Portsmouth last night to get his first start for the team.

He was paired alongside David Luiz and he gave a composed performance that was full of confidence and he was hailed by his manager after the game.

Arteta was happy for the former Manchester City player for looking comfortable and he also praised his communication skills as he was vocal for much of the game helping pass instructions across to his teammates.

“I think he looked comfortable,” he told the Gunners website.

“He is very vocal and very comfortable on the ball, always commanding the back four and he looked like he’s played here for months. I think we have a good player.

“We didn’t see the lack of rhythm that he has because he hasn’t played in two-and-a-half months I think but in general, overall, really happy.”

Mari is one of two defenders who joined Arsenal on loan in the last transfer window and he will be hoping to get more chances in the coming weeks as he targets earning a permanent move to the Emirates.

It was a pleasing debut from Mari and while it was only Portsmouth, it was still a tricky game in front of a hostile crowd which he handled with ease and played his part in a clean sheet.

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