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According to a report from UOL, Arsenal are very close to completing the signing of Flamengo’s Pablo Mari.

The Spanish defender had a phenomenal campaign, winning the Serie A as well as the Copa Libertadores last season. Signing a centre-half this window is a huge priority for Arsenal but us Mari the right one?

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Here are the pros and cons:

Pros:

  • Mari is still only 26 and is at the right age to test himself at the top level.
  • He is 6ft 4in tall, brilliant in the air and the physicality of the Premier League will not be a problem for him.
  • Mari is good with his feet and is used to playing in a high line, something that fits Arteta’s style.
  • At just £8.5 million (Flamengo RJ), he falls into the low-risk high-reward category which suits Arsenal at the moment.
  • Arteta should know his profile well considering the duo’s previous spell at Manchester City.

Cons:

  • Mari is not tested at the top level having only played four minutes in the top-flight of a major European league.
  • Although his physicality isn’t a concern, the speed of the English game could pose a major problem for him.
  • Mari’s positioning could also be a concern considering the lack of cover alongside him if an attacker gets past him.
  • Pep Guardiola allowed him to leave for just £1.5 million (Goal) six months ago which again casts doubt over his ability at the top level.

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Mari’s situation is an interesting one for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. Sokratis, Luiz and Rob Holding are likely to remain first-choice even if he does come in this week.

William Saliba and Calum Chambers should both be available next season and if Arsenal go out and get another defender too, he will struggle to even make the squad.

However, Edu has already shown his knowledge in the Brazilian leagues. Gabriel Martinelli has become a huge hit and based on that alone, we should give our technical director the benefit of doubt over Mari this month.

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