Pablo Mari's former manager gives him stamp of approval to succeed with Arsenal

Pablo Mari in training in Dubai (Photo via Twitter / Arsenal)
Pablo Mari in training in Dubai (Photo via Twitter / Arsenal)

David Luiz says Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus told him positive things about new Arsenal signing Pablo Mari, who joined from the Brazilian club in January.

Pablo Mari with Mikel Arteta (Photo via Twitter / Arsenal)
Pablo Mari with Mikel Arteta (Photo via Twitter / Arsenal)

Both David Luiz and Pablo Mari worked under current Flamengo boss Jorge Jesus at points in their career. Obviously, Mari was with the 65-year-old until last month, when the defender joined Arsenal on an initial loan deal.

As for Luiz, he spent time with Jorge Jesus at Benfica, between 2009 and 2011. According to the centre-back, he still keeps in touch with his old boss.

“I speak with Jorge every week, he’s really my friend,” Luiz said. “He told me to welcome [Mari] in the best way because Pablo is ready to play.

“He’s a great player, he did amazing in Brazil under Jorge Jesus, a coach I know very well. Jorge is my friend and one of the top coaches in the world.”

There’s a chance Luiz might have to change position if he wants to play alongside Mari. The left-footed defender is surely going to start on the left-hand side, which is where Luiz was playing up until now.

The 32-year-old isn’t worrying about losing his place to the new signing though.

“I think it’s good, it’s good when you have a squad with a lot of quality and players. We have a game every week, you have to be happy with this,” the 32-year-old added.

“I always want to play, always want to play in the way the coach wants to play. It doesn’t matter the side, it doesn’t matter which position. You guys know I played a lot of positions during my career. I’m always ready for that.”

Despite the mistakes (three penalties), Luiz is arguably Arsenal’s best-performing centre-back this season. That’s not exactly saying much, given the bar is so low. Still, it would be a shame to drop him, rather than shifting him across.

Rivaldo thinks Mari could be ‘very successful’ with Arsenal