‘He’s very complete’: Rivaldo raves about new Arsenal signing
Brazil legend Rivaldo is backing new Arsenal defender Pablo Mari to be a success at The Emirates
Rivaldo is backing Pablo Mari to be a big success at Arsenal.
The Spanish defender completed a move to Arsenal on loan from Fifa World Club Cup runners-up Flamengo for the remainder of the Premier League season.
Mari will be tasked with bolstering Mikel Arteta’s leaky defence as well as easing the north London side’s injury crisis at the back.
The 26-year-old excelled during a two-year stint at the Brazilian club, winning the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A and the Copa Libertadores.
Mari has previous experience of being at a Premier League club after he spent three years on Manchester City’s books without making an appearance.
However, former Brazil midfielder Rivaldo believes Mari is a much better player following his spell at Flamengo.
“I think Pablo Mari will fit in very well at Arsenal and in the Premier League,” Rivaldo told The Evening Standard, as quoted by Metro.
“He is a good player that struggled to impose himself in Europe as a loaned player of Man City for a while, but he really convinced people being part of a great Flamengo team last season.”
Mari was part of the Flamengo side that lost 1-0 to Champions League holders Liverpool FC in the Fifa World Club Cup final in Qatar back in December.
Former FC Barcelona midfielder Rivaldo identified three areas where Mari can help to improve Arsenal following his move.
“He is very complete as a defender – capable of bringing the ball forward when necessary and a threat on set pieces. He has good passing skills as well and I liked what I saw from him,” Rivaldo added.
“In Brazil, everyone has good opinion about him, and he could be a very successful option for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta.”
Arsenal have the option to sign Mari on a permanent deal at the end of the Premier League campaign.
The Gunners will return to Premier League action with a home clash against Newcastle United next Sunday.