Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta sent Pablo Mari out on loan to Udinese in the January transfer window.
The Spanish defender joined us from Flamengo, initially on loan, back in January 2020. That move was made permanent in the summer and Mari looked really good whenever he played for Arsenal at the start.
However, the 28-year-old suffered a number of injuries, which kept him away from the side. Ben White’s arrival pushed him further down the pecking order and that left Arteta with no choice but loan him out. Mari, however, loved the way the Arsenal boss treated him before loaning him out.
Pablo Mari: What Arteta told me before Arsenal loaned me out
Mari raved about Arteta in an interview with ESPN this week. The two Spaniards share a fantastic relationship and what the Arsenal boss told the defender before loaning him out shows how well he treats his players.
He said: “In the winter, we made commitments together. I explained my situation to him, my feelings. I don’t play in the last six months.
“[He said] the plan in the next six months until June is going to be the same. I can play, of course, because maybe other centre-backs get injured, there can be a red card, or yellow cards, but it is going to be one, two, maximum three or four games. At the end, I don’t want that for me.
“[Arteta] was a really, really, really good person in that moment. He said to me ‘everything that you need, you deserve that. You were a professional player until the end and you deserve it so everything I can help you, I’m going to do it.’ I’m so glad to hear that from a coach because it was not an easy moment for me.”
The Insider’s View:
Mari is a really good defender and his performances in his first year at Arsenal made many fans compare him to our former skipper, Per Mertesacker.
However, the Spaniard, unfortunately, is just not on the same level as White, Gabriel Magalhaes and arguably even Rob Holding. That pushed him down the pecking order and with no European football as well, he was never going to get any game time this season.
A loan spell in Italy is perfect for Mari. He has done really well for Udinese so far and it will be interesting to see what happens with him in the summer, especially if Holding moves on.