Mikel Arteta is a little more optimistic about the chances of Pablo Mari facing Newcastle than Cedric Soares, but he’s urging patience with the new signings.
When Mikel Arteta and Arsenal made the decisions to sign Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares on loan in January, they knew they might not be able to call on the pair immediately.
Whilst Mari doesn’t have any injury concerns, he was on holiday following the conclusion of the Brazilian season. He last started a match back on December 21st. As a result, he needs time to get back up to full match sharpness.
As for Cedric, he picked up an injury just over a week before he left Southampton. The club only ruled him out for ‘around three weeks’ though, which could see him back soon after the winter break.
Arteta says Mari is the more one he’s more confident about facing Newcastle though.
“With Pablo (I am optimistic) a little bit more than Cedric, but we have to go step by step,” Arteta said. “He is a new player and I am sure he is very excited and wants to prove everything in three days, so we have to manage him wisely.”
Both players are currently in Dubai with the rest of the Arsenal squad. Mari is in full training, whilst Cedric is doing individual work at the moment.
If they can both make it back into contention by the time the Europa League knockout rounds start in a week-and-a-half, that would be a real boost to the squad.