Arsenal has signed Flamengo defender Pablo Mari on an initial loan deal with an option to buy. Mari becomes the club’s first signing since Mikel Arteta’s appointment as head coach.

The Spaniard, Pablo Mari deal is worth up to £12m with Arsenal paying a £4m loan fee upfront with an option to make the move permanent for £8m in the summer.

The 26-year-old became Arteta’s first signing since taking over as the Gunners head coach in December.

“When I spoke to my agent, it was a big thing that Arsenal was interested in me.” Said Mari

“This is one of the best clubs in the world. So, I’, absolutely delights to be joining. I’m looking forward to playing in this jersey and helping my team.”

“Right now I want to focus on the day-to-day side of things. I think we need to put the plans to one side for now because the most important thing is to take things one day at a time and focus on achieving short-term goals.”

“We need to change the dynamic around the team. So, the short term objectives are the most important thing. As I’ve said, we have Mikel’s ideas, aligned with the club, and we need to perform very well to change things.”

Meanwhile, Flamengo has thanked Mari for his contribution to their Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A triumphs last season. They said, “the time has come to say goodbye.”

Who is Arsenal’s new signing?

For Mari, 2019 was a year of spectacular sporting highs and lows.

As recently as June, he was the man who missed the chance that cost Deportivo La Coruna promotion back to La Liga. By November, he was a Champion of Brazil and South America.

For Arsenal supporters, the fascination now is what could lie ahead for the Spanish defender in 2020. While this may be true, Arteta wants to make the player his first signing as a manager. Edu Gasper, the club’s Brazilian sporting director, appears to like what he has seen too.

Such informed judges should be enough to encourage supporters but Arsenal fans could be forgiven for being unsure of what to expect.

Some would say that anyone would be an upgrade to the hapless pairing of Shkodran Mustafi and David Luiz. Others remember that both were presented as the solution upon their arrival at the club.