Mikel Arteta’s decision to bring Pablo Mari back into the heart of Arsenal’s defence looks set to come at a cost for the Gunners.
The centre-back moved to the Emirates from Flamengo initially on loan last January and has recently returned from injury to cement a place in Arteta’s starting line-up.
The Spaniard has proved to be a key member of an Arsenal team that has won their last three league matches.
Mari has made three appearances in the Premier League so far this term, partnering the excellent Rob Holding at centre back.
However, his new-found status will come at a cost to Arteta’s men.
If Mari is selected for the Gunners’ home clash with Crystal Palace on Thursday, Arsenal will have to pay £900,000 to his former club Flamengo, reports Globo Esporte (as cited by the Daily Mirror).
As part of the deal that saw Mari convert his loan move into a permanent stay on July 1, Arsenal must pay the Brazilian club £900,000 for every 10 appearances he makes for the club – up to a maximum of 80 games.
With Mari’s contract not expiring until 2024, it looks as if the Gunners will have to pay the full amount.
Mari showing his class
Arteta has been full of praise for the defender in recent weeks, as Arsenal have turned their season around.
“He’s a leader, he’s someone that trains really hard. He’s a professional, a great communicator on the pitch. He gives you some security and stability,” he said.
“I think he’s done really well with Rob [Holding], he was really good with David [Luiz]. Three clean sheets in a row and he fully deserves the chance to play.
“[He was] really positive when he wasn’t playing, when he was injured and when he is playing. He is the same person all the time.
“He tries to help everybody, really professional, really eager to improve to give his best all the time. In any capacity and any role and I think he is getting rewarded by his attitude.”
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