Pablo Mari hopes to be an Arsenal player for “many years” after impressing in his first two games since joining the Gunners on loan.
The Spanish central defender joined Arsenal in Flamengo in January with the club having the option to make the temporary deal permanent for a commission believed to be in the region of £ 8 million.
So far Mari has decided to make a convincing case to earn that permanent move in her two appearances, keeping the papers in good standing in victories over West Ham United and Portsmouth. The 26-year-old could face his biggest test yet Wednesday if he shows up against Manchester City, a growing possibility with Shkodran Mustafi facing a late fitness test on his tight thigh.
Despite spending three years in the City books before leaving for Flamengo in July, this week’s game could be Mari’s first competitive appearance at Etihad Stadium. He is determined to use it to strengthen his case for a permanent move to Arsenal.
Video not available
“I learned a lot because when I was there I was young, now I’m a little older,” said Mari. “I’ve learned a lot in all the teams I’ve played on. So I think it’s different.
“I don’t want to look back, I want to look forward. Now I’m in a really good club and I want to continue here for many years.
“I am so happy here. I will try to do my best until the end of the season. I hope the club will be happy with me too and then we will find a good end for everyone.”
He added: “I want to play in one of the best leagues in the world and now I’m here. I will do my best for the team, for the club, to win many games and also for the fans to have fun with me.”
Arsenal have not won a league game against City since 2015 and have lost their last six meetings with Pep Guardiola’s team with an overall score of 17-2.
Although the odds will be accumulated against Arsenal, there are vulnerabilities in the reigning champions exposed by Manchester United in a 2-0 win on Sunday against their local rivals, which means that City has lost more Premier League games in this season compared to Arteta’s team.
“It will be a good game, but now I’m really focused on Arsenal,” said Mari. “I want to win that game. It’s another game for us, three more points and we want to try and win.
“At that moment, for me in my mind, I wanted to play with them. This was not possible. So now it’s another situation for me.
“I want to play for many years here with Arsenal. It’s another situation and now I’m really happy.”