Arsenal will activate their purchase clause for Pablo Mari this summer, despite his recent serious injury, according to reports.

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

Pablo Mari joined Arsenal from Flamengo on loan in January, but with a purchase clause this summer. According to Coluna do Fla, the club are now ready to activate the clause, despite the looming prospect of surgery for the player on an ankle injury.

Arsenal paid €5m for the loan, but the deal could reach up to €16m with bonuses. This reportedly breaks down as follows:

  • €5m loan fee
  • €3m purchase clause
  • €1m in bonuses for every 10 games he plays, up to 80 games or €8m

From that perspective, it doesn’t seem like such a huge risk to activate the clause. The €5m fee is gone, there’s nothing Arsenal can do about it now.

The €1-8m in bonuses will only reach Flamengo if Mari returns from injury and becomes a regular. If that happens, it’s worth the money.

The only risk added by activating the clause is the €3m purchase fee. Whilst that is still a gamble, it’s not exactly a huge one. Mari is the only left-footed centre-back in Mikel Arteta’s squad, and that’s seemingly something he values highly.

It’s not like paying a similar fee to keep Holding, Sokratis, Mavropanos or the rest. They’re all mostly interchangeable, so letting one go is no big deal. But Mari is the only Arsenal defender of his profile. Let him go and you have to pay more to replace him.

Whilst if they pay €3m extra and he doesn’t play regularly, there’s still the option to sell him on and make it back again.

Arteta still keen to keep Mari

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND: Mikel Arteta of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on May 22, 2020. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arteta seemingly confirmed Arsenal’s stance on the Mari issue in his pre-Brighton press conference. When asked if he wants to complete a permanent move for the player, he responded emphatically.

“Yes,” he said. “This cannot be affected just because a player gets injured doing his job and defending our club.”

There’s probably an element of sending a message to other players here too. He doesn’t want the squad to get the impression that they’re risking their future every time they step onto the pitch right now.

The injury risk is higher than usual in the current circumstances, so players need to feel safe that they’ll still have a place at the club if they pick one up. Otherwise, you can be sure they’ll stop giving 100%.