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Arivederci, Pablo Mari

Everyone has been so focused on the incoming transfers with Kai Havertz confirmed for £65m, with Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber’s arrival imminent, but it was nice to see some ongoing transfers as we expect to balance our books with some personnel going through the exit door.

Pablo Mari didn’t light up many fireworks with his arrival from Flamengo, but Mikel Arteta wanted a left-footed player on the left hand side of his center back pairings. Mari was decent at best but he will forever be marred by his display against Chelsea a couple of seasons ago where he had a torrid time against Romelu Lukaku at the Emirates.

After making just 22 appearances in two-and-a-half seasons at Arsenal, Mari moved to Udinese on loan with an option to buy, but the Italian outfit didn’t opt to sign Pablo Mari and with Gabriel clearly above him in the pecking order, as well as other defenders like William Saliba and Ben White ahead of him as well, he started preparing for life outside Arsenal, and when Monza came calling, Mari answered the call, playing 30 appearances for the Serie A outfit.

Despite suffering such a nasty knife attack from an assailant with mental problems in October 2022, Mari recovered well and continued to focus on his football, and helped the club to an 11th place finish, which allowed Monza activate the clause in the loan deal with Arsenal.

Arivederci Pablo Mari, it was nice.


Cedric on the Way and Pablo Mari Loan Confirmed


Cedric Soares

After a series of negotiations between Arsenal  and Flamengo, a loan deal for Pablo Mari was reached and the club unveiled Dani Ceballos their shiny new defender. The Telegraph reported that Arsenal has some interest in signing Southampton’s Cedric Soares, which will add some depth on the right back position. 

Defense is a department of the squad that requires massive overhauling with the Gunners conceding goals for fun this season. Yes, Bernd Leno, has been superb with some breathsaving saves in the course of the campaign, but the defensive leaks have not been patched, with the Gunners languishing in mid-table and finding clean sheets hard to come by.

We expected a center back to join the club in the January transfer window, with the injury problems faced by Calum Chambers and more recently, Skhodran Mustafi. Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Rob Holding have gone in and out of the treatment table in the course of the season, leaving David Luiz as the fittest center back of the bunch, but he’s reaching his twilight years. It was a case of the club linked with Pablo Mari, Mykola Matviyenko or some defensive alien from outer space, but the defensive situation at the club is a huge cause for concern.

Arsenal fans will be hoping for Pablo Mari to hit the ground running, but I will expect him to stay on the bench when the Gunners visit Turf Moor to take on Burnley this weekend. The home game against Newcastle should be a perfect platform to unleash Pablo Mari to the Arsenal faithful and I believe he will turn out to be a wonderful signing for the club.

Cedric Soares, on the other hand, is a vastly experienced right back that was instrumental to Portugal’s triumphant Euro 2016 campaign. He has been an ever-present for Southampton since he joined the club in 2015. Cedric has had his fair share of injury problems, but he has been a model of consistency for the Saint. 

I also love the fact that he has a decent free kick in him and his delivery from the right flank will come in handy. He will also serve as a good back to Hector Bellerin, but one wonders what the future would hold for Ainsley Maitland-Niles that has deputized in that position for quite some time. Maybe Mikel Arteta sees his future in midfield, but the manager knows best.

We will keep monitoring the Cedric situation and hope that we can seal a deal for him before the window shuts tomorrow.

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Matviyenko, Pablo Mari and the Wait for a New Defender

Image result for Mykola Matviyenko


The January transfer window comes to a close this Friday and Arsenal fans wait for a new center back to provide support to the team in the short and long term. Calum Chambers is out for the rest of the season and Skhodran Mustafi looks set to spend a lengthy layoff following his injury against Bournemouth in the FA Cup, leaving David Luiz, Sokratis and the injury-prone Rob Holding as the options in that position.

Arsenal is linked with Shakhtar’s Mykola Matviyenko and Flamengo’s Pablo Mari in the past day, but we are still hopeful for these deals to be completed before the window closes.

Pablo Mari’s situation is interesting with the back and forth discussions and negotiations going on with the player. He was spotted in the airport by’s Arsenal correspondent, Charles Watt, who shared this tweet. The defender had his medical, which we believed was successful, but to everyone’s surprise, Pablo Mari was on a plane back to Brazil following breakdown of negotiations between Arsenal and Flamengo. According to reports, Arsenal wanted a loan move with the option to buy at the end of the season, while Flamengo wanted an outright sale. 

Flamengo defender Pablo Mari is set to join Arsenal

Flamengo has also gone ahead to sign Leo Pereira, which should probably be Pablo Mari’s replacement. According to the Metro, Arsenal and Flamengo  have agreed a deal to get their man and Brazilian outlet, Globo, has reported that the Spanish defender has travelled to London to complete his move to the Gunners.

The Gunners have also been linked with a move for Mykola Matviyenko and the Metro reports that a deal in principle has been agreed between Arsenal and Shakhtar for the young defender. Mikel Arteta has seen Matviyenko from the dugout when his previous club, Manchester City, played Shakhtar twice in the group stages of the Champions League. 

Whether it’s Pablo Mari or Mykola Matviyenko, or both, Arsenal is in dire need of options in central defense, and I will be good to sign players that will have a long term future with the club, especially with the fact that Sokratis (31) and David Luiz (33) are reaching the twilight of their careers. Their presence will be helpful in bringing the young defenders up to speed but I’m certain that their deals will not be renewed at the end of next season.

We will monitor the situation and will be hopeful that these deals get across the finish line on or before Friday.


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