Will Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares get enough game time to earn permanent deals at Arsenal?

It is going to be hard for Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares to nail down a first-team spot with Arsenal.

Arsenal made two signings in the last transfer window and both players were defenders signed to help the defence that has been plagued by injuries and poor form this season.

Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares joined Arsenal with hopes of getting the Gunners to defend better.

However, both players haven’t featured for Arsenal yet and the Gunners seem to have sorted their defensive issues.

Mari was signed to help Arsenal “expand” the field since he is a left-footed centre back, but the results have gotten better without the need for someone to make the pitch bigger.

Credit to Arteta for his man-management skills that most of our defenders who have been underperforming are now looking like top stars.

Shkodran Mustafi looked to be on his way out of Arsenal at the end of last season and he was frozen out at the start of this campaign, however, he has become ever so reliable under Arteta.

I suspect that Mikel Arteta will try Mari in the next FA Cup game if he has seen enough of the Spaniard in training.

If he gets that chance, he would have to grab it with both hands and make a solid first impression to ever get a sniff of more first-team football.

Soares is still struggling with an injury and when he returns he will also struggle to get a starting spot except if injury strikes.

I wish both of them the best of luck, but I think it could be very hard for either of them to break into this team if the current crop of defenders continue to perform as they are.


  1. To suggest we have sorted out our defensive issues is being somewhat naive .You have only to look at the chances Everton created and missed on Sunday to counter your suggestion.Like you I am pretty sure Mari will get game time in the FA cup and from what I have heard on the ” grapevine” he could make a positive impression.Let’s hope so as we need someone of his stature at set pieces where we are currently vulnerable.

    1. I wouldn’t read too much into the Everton game,it was our 3rd game in a week against a team which had a full week of rest,this is not a coincidence that they scored very early (rustiness from our part) and dominated the last 20 minutes,our players were knackered,you just need to have a look at our previous games to see real defensive improvements,I agree with Ken, Mari and Soares will be with us next season,MA will sell few defenders this summer,we will have too many CB,s Mari has impressed with the U23,s and could play against Portsmouth,we know Soares experience ,quality when fit hence he is not being rushed back into the team,both will be with us next season that I’m sure and financially it makes sense and by the start of next season will be fully integrated in the group and up to speed with our style of play!!

  2. Great article Martin, with some really good debating points.

    Like you, the fa cup could be the opportunity for Mari to make his debut and I feel that the club have invested in him and Saliba as replacements for Luis and Soks for next season IF Mari proves himself.
    We shouldn’t forget Holding and Mavropanos either (who is doing a great job out on loan), so the four mentioned, along with Chambers, could be the new, younger defensive heart of the club. Mustafi is a revelation under MA – we look very strong at CB for the first time in ages.

    Soares was signed knowing he was injured, but I feel the club will most certainly sign him on, as long as the current injury is proven to be a temporary thing – a decent cover at full back for a very good price in todays market place.

    With Tierney and Kolasinac at LB, I feel we have addressed our defence and both the players you mention are part of that rebuilding process.

  3. We may see the pair in a few games, if we get kind draws in the fa cup, if injuries dont keep them out but i doubt they will be Arsenal players next season, along with Ceballos.

    1. I think we would have to have crippling injuries in defence before we see either start this season in the prem.

      1. I agree Reggie, but at least we have the cover therecof we need it. You only have to look at the Spuds. Injuries to der der der Kane and the dog eating Korean and they now have no strikers. If Arteta brought both in to see how they perform in games such as Portsmouth Away, ( who will be right up for that I can tell you ) plus as cover for the recognised starters, then he is at least being proactive if nothing else.
        We could, hopefully, still have quite a few games left this season so the more options we have the better

  4. To suggest we have sorted out our defensive issues is debatable given the number of chances Everton created and thankfully missed on Sunday.However, like you I feel Mari will get game time in the FA cup and from what I have heard on the ” grapevine” he could turn out to be a real asset.With his stature he could help us cope better at set pieces where we seem vulnerable.As to Soares, I hope he is fit before too long.

    1. Grandad, your right regarding the chances Everton had on Sunday, but please remember that Soares, Mari, Tierney, Salibas, Mavs, Chambers and Holding were not playing.
      These seven defenders must surely be seen as the players MA forms his defence around?
      Along, it seems, with Mustafi, who has been transformed under MA’s coaching and Bellerin plus Kolasinac.

      As you say, Mari could be a very good buy, especially as MA knows him from their city days and I cannot see The Arsenal paying both his and Soares their salaries, just to let them go at the end of the season, without giving them playing time to prove their effectiveness…unless one has an injury that proves chronic and the other’s rave reviews prove groundless.

  5. “NOW LOOKING LIKE TOP STARTS”? Oh, for goodness sake Martin that is nonsense and you know it as well as I DO. Talk about hype and overstatement! A FEW games without a costly error and suddenly Mustafi is a star player? Excuse me while a I SNORT WITH DERISION. I have rarely heard such nonsense , even on this site. As for Mari and Soares, I see Mari being offered a permanent deal and featuring as a regular soon. Soares? Too early to say and I have not rated him hitherto. Neither have Saints fans ,it appears.

    1. You ignore current form all you want Jon, me personally I am happy that we have a manager that wants to play players based on how they are performing and not based on history or their name. Each to their own I suppose.

      1. There’s that word “history” again, some might add “ancient” to it – the club has moved forward, yet it seems some fans still want to dwell in the past with regards to current players.

        On current form, no manager/coach could possibly think of dropping Mustafi in relation to our squad of players.

        Wasn’t the claim that players were selected on name rather than current form these last three and a half years?
        Well, MA is doing exactly what everyone wanted and the toxicity has gone…well for most of us anyway.

  6. I have to agree with you on mari and soares grabbing their chances with both arms but totally disagree with the claim that the defence is now performing at top level. Besides Leno the rest are still below par am afraid

  7. Mari would be given chances to fight for a place in the first team, if he proves himself to be what arteta needs from a left footed CB, then he should be getting a permanent transfer in the summer.

    I think soares deal will be made permanent nevertheless because he will be a free agent in the summer, because that can only justify the reason they brought him in on loan with an injury and paying his salary knowing he might not even get the chance before the season runs out

  8. Don’t expect too much, we have pretty good record when it comes to signing injured players on loan and then sending them back were they came from injured. Looks like club has a lot of money to blow the way they have been doing business when it comes to these sort of loan signings. I guess we are the new holiday resort of inured players n funny thing is non of them are world class kind players so even if they get fit it’s not like they are going to light up the league.

  9. Both Mari and Soares would be invaluable backups given the number of games(including the PL, EUL and the FA cup), the injuries and suspensions taken into account. An example is Kola being substituted by Saka in the Everton game. Also last week we had to play 3 games in a week and tiredness could be a factor so backup is essential. I feel Arsenal should make both Mari and Soares permanent signings because we will surely need their services in the long run. Up the Gunners!

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