PREMIER LEAGUE

Pablo Marí, Arteta's first signing, joins Arsenal on loan

Spanish central defender Pablo Marí has completed his move to Arsenal where he will spend the next six months on loan move from Flamengo.

Arsenal complete signing of Pablo Mari on loan with option to buy

Arsenal have completed the signing of Spanish central defender Pablo Marí who joins the Gunners on a six-month loan deal. The Premier League club reserve the option to buy the player if they happy with him, when the loan agreement expires in June.

Arsenal strengthen back four with Pablo Marí

Marí is Mikel Arteta's first signing since he accepted the manager's job in December. The 26-year-old joins from Flamengo for a reported 5 million euros. The defender arrived in London with Arsenal's Technical Director Edu on Saturday. "Pablo is an experienced player who will provide us with additional defensive quality," Edu said as the club confirmed the move. "We have been monitoring Pablo's career for a while and we are very pleased to have reached agreement with Flamengo for him to join us initially until the end of our season. Together with Mikel and his coaching team, we are all looking forward to seeing Pablo in an Arsenal shirt."

Marí joined Manchester City in 2016 but never played for the first team, leaving for Flamengo last July having been sent out for loan stints at Girona, NAC Breda and Deportivo de la Coruña. At Flamengo, he was a key figure under Jorge Jesus, who led the Rio de Janeiro giants to the Campeonato Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores titles. Marí also featured when Flamengo lost the Club World Cup final against Liverpool 1-0 after extra time.

Arsenal have been keen to bolster their defensive options following injuries to Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac and have now landed their man.

"Incredible to be at Arsenal" says Pablo Marí

"It's a massive opportunity for me to come to England, which is the best league in the world right now," said Marí. "Being able to play in this league and having the opportunity to play for Arsenal is incredible, so I’m really looking forward to wearing the shirt as soon as possible. I want to help my team to win matches and give my fans something to celebrate."

Flamengo showed their gratitude to Marí as they confirmed his departure earlier in the day, saying: "The time has come for us to say goodbye. He is a defender who arrived at Flamengo to make his mark in our history with the Libertadores and the Brazilian Championship titles. Pablo Marí, thank you for everything."

Arsenal, unbeaten in six games across all competitions, are 10th in the Premier League ahead of Sunday's away match against Burnley.