Pablo Mari doesn’t worry about facing the Premier League’s top players like Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, because they’re ‘just people like everyone else’.
Pablo Mari joined Arsenal on Wednesday, completing a loan move with an option to buy at the end of the season.
Given the circumstances, Mikel Arteta needs him to have an immediate impact now. The team don’t really have time for an adaptation period from a defender overawed by playing in a new league.
Thankfully, the suggestion from Mari himself is that won’t be a problem.
The defender played his first competitive game against English opposition – Liverpool – last month, impressing despite an extra-time 1-0 defeat. He puts that down to the way he approaches matches against big-name players.
“It was a great experience,” Mari began. “It was really exciting to play against a big club and I think I performed really well. At the end of the day, they’re just people like everyone else.
“Obviously they’re in great form at the moment and they’re among the best players in the world, but we also have a fantastic team with top players. This is football and that’s the way you have to look at it.
“You have to compete against every side, whether it’s Liverpool or any other club in the world. I have a lot of faith in this great club, Arsenal, and I know we’re going to do very well.”
Plenty of big games to come
Arsenal still have a clash against Liverpool of their own to come this season, among other tests.
The Europa League and FA Cup runs could throw up some big clashes if the team keep progressing. There’s Manchester City away and a first trip to Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium in the league.
Arsenal have to face those clashes motivated to win as many as possible. Too often the defence look nervy on the big occasions, let’s hope Mari can change that.