Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has completed his loan move to Italian side AC Monza, with an obligation to buy if certain conditions are met at the end of the season.
THE LOWDOWN: BELOW-PAR ARSENAL CAREER
Since joining Arsenal in 2019, initially on a loan deal from Flamengo before signing a permanent deal, Pablo Mari is yet to enjoy a consistent run of games at the club. Despite making just three appearances during his initial loan spell, his deal was made permanent.
His injury problems and a loss in form prevented him from cementing a solid position on the team. Mari was also part of the team that lost back-to-back games at the start of last season. But following those horrendous performances, Arteta virtually refused to pick him for even cup games.
Last January, the Gunners eventually sent Mari on loan to Udinese, where he had a solid finish for the latter half of the season. His performance in Italy attracted significant interest across Europe. Hellas Verona have shown strong interest, Fenerbahce have enquired about him too but it appears Monza is his next destination.
THE LATEST: EXIT SEALED
According to Fabrizio Romano, Pablo Mari has already signed his contract with newly-promoted Serie A club Monza and they will have to purchase the Spanish centre-back outrightly if they remain in the Italian top flight next season.
“Official, confirmed. Pablo Marì has signed the contract as new Monza player – deal signed also between clubs with Arsenal. #AFC Monza will cover full salary, then Arsenal will receive €5/6m fee in case Monza will remain in Serie A next season,” Romano tweeted.
The Serie A newcomers want to create a squad of experienced professionals to help them stay up beyond the current campaign and that quest has led them to sign the Arsenal man.
THE VERDICT: QUITE APPROPRIATE
Arsenal have been busy offloading many unwanted players and are clearing up space in the squad. Mari will follow Lucas Torreira, Bernd Leno and Folarin Balogun as recent departures, although Balogun is just out on a dry loan. The likes of Hector Bellerin and Runar Alex Runarsson are still expected to leave before the window shuts.
Mari was never going to play at the Emirates again after the arrival of Ben White and the return of William Saliba from a loan spell at Marseille. Indeed, it was a good deal for both parties, and manager Mikel Arteta can now focus on creating more space in his squad in order to finance the remaining signings he hopes to make.