Premier League • England

Arsenal star admits exit desire with career now back on track; two options available

Pablo Mari tackling Victor Osimhen

Centre-half Pablo Mari has explained why Serie A suits him after revealing his desire to play away from Arsenal once again.

The Spaniard, 28, is currently on a six-month loan with Italian side Udinese. Mari left the Gunners in the winter window with his chances of ever disrupting the Gabriel Magalhaes-Ben White partnership slim.

Mari had featured in the league on just two occasions for Arsenal this season. Both ended in 2-0 defeats, but his time at Udinese has been rather more pleasant.

Indeed, Pablo Mari has played in all but two of Udinese’s Serie A matches since arriving on loan.

The summer arrival of Takehiro Tomiyasu had placed another obstacle in Mari’s path to minutes at the Emirates.

The Japanese international is a centre-back by trade, though has played mainly at right-back thus far.

And with Rob Holding also on the books, it comes as no surprise to see Mari angle for another move away next season.

Speaking to Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Mari explained why his game is perfectly suited to the Serie A style.

Furthermore, he admitted he’d “like to stay in Italy”.

Serie A is “right for me” – Pablo Mari

“When I arrived in January, I had a clear and precise idea,” said Mari (via Udineseblog).

“I told the coach and [Udinese owner] Gino Pozzo that I was coming to play. But I realized that I had to earn the job day after day, workout after workout. [Coach] Cioffi was the first who welcomed me, well, here.

“It’s the right championship for me. Very tactical. I try to bring the attacker towards me.

“I really like having the ball and here it can be done and then there is the battle and I like having a battle on the pitch. I’d like to stay in Italy.”

It’s understood there is no option to buy in Pari’s loan spell with Udinese. As such, if his ambitions to remain in Italy are to be realised, a new agreement must be reached.

Mari’s current Arsenal contract has another two years left to run after this season. Another loan deal could therefore be viable if a permanent move can’t be agreed.

Reaffirming his joy at featuring regularly away from Arsenal, Mari added: “I’m very well at Udinese and I’d be happy to take the club even higher in the standings. Of course, I still have a two-year contract with Arsenal.

“I’ve resumed playing continuously after the operation on my left ankle where I was out for five months.”