Transfer News: Arsenal closing in on the capture of Pablo Mari

Arsenal are on the verge of securing their first signing of this January transfer window in the form of Flamengo defender Pablo Mari.

According to Telegraph, Arsenal seem to be ready to make their first signing of this ongoing winter transfer window by securing the services of Pablo Mari. The Flamengo defender was apparently spotted alongside club’s technical director Edu at the Rio de Janeiro airport.

It is believed that Mari is set to arrive in London today and could complete his medical. Arsenal are keen to sign the defender on a loan deal, with a view to making the move permanent by the end of the campaign.

It has been quite an uneventful transfer window for Arsenal so far. The Gunners were expected to make some quality signing in defence, with Mikel Arteta keen on solving his side’s defensive woes. They were notably linked with a move for Layvin Kurzawa last week but the move has failed to materialise so far.

The potential arrival of Mari, in that regard, should serve as a sigh of relief for not only Arteta but also the fans, who have had endure some of the worst defensive performances from the club in years. The two experienced defenders in Sokratis and David Luiz, in particular, have let the team down on so many occasions.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 24: Rodrigo Caio and Pablo Mari of Flamengo pose with the trophy on a bus during the celebrations the day after Flamengo won the Copa CONMEBOL Libertadores on November 24, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)
Ready to take the next step in his career. (Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

This is combined with the series of injuries the Arsenal defenders have had to deal with in the past 12 months or so. Rob Holding has barely played this season, suffering from an ACL injury while Calum Chambers has recently been diagnosed with the same problem that will keep him out for a considerable amount of time.

This has left Arteta with a limited number of options in central defence and it’s almost needless to point out that none of the three available defenders in Sokratis, Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi are viable options. That’s where Mari could come into the fray.

The Flamengo defender, formerly a member of the Manchester City side, has enjoyed immense success after moving to Brazil in the summer. His contributions in defence were critical behind Flamengo’s triumph not only in the Brazilian Serie A but also in the Copa Libertadores. He was most recently involved in the FIFA Club World Cup final against Liverpool.

Mari’s tall physical presence and his ability to play the ball out from the back should complement the more robust nature of Luiz and Sokratis. But, given his lack of experience in English football, it remains to be seen whether he can integrate to his new club.

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