Mikel Arteta thinks Pablo Mari has the right attitude and presence to succeed at Arsenal, even if it won’t be easy for him.

Pablo Mari (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)
Pablo Mari (Photo via Arsenal on Twitter)

Mikel Arteta gave Pablo Mari his Premier League debut over the weekend, not long after the centre-back made his full debut for Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier that week.

The Gunners defence kept a clean sheet on both occasions, albeit with a few scares along the way.

Speaking before Arsenal travel to Manchester City – the former club of both Mari and Arteta – the head coach gave his thoughts on the new signing’s opening games.

“He’s brave, he’s willing, he’s impressive without the ball & he has a presence,” Arteta said. “He is very vocal around his team even if he’s only been two days here, but he has that ability & that character. I’m really pleased with him.”

The Arsenal boss went on to add that it’s not going to be easy for Mari to adapt. He thinks the player’s attitude will help with that though.

“He is doing well, he’s adapted really well,” Arteta continued. “It is not an easy league and a central defender, in my opinion, to play in the Premier League is one of the toughest positions to play for any foreign player.

“But he is very willing, he is learning and he has a good experience and understanding with his team-mates.”

It will be interesting to see what happens on Wednesday night. The first question is whether Arteta keeps faith in Mari, and it seems like he’s going to. Then, it’s a huge test for the centre-back up against the best attacking side in the league.

Come through it with another clean sheet and that’s a huge confidence booster. We can always hope.