Premier League • England

Star reveals Arsenal ‘dream’ despite securing loan exit – ‘I never close that door’

Pablo Mari of Arsenal

Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has given an honest admission about the Gunners, in which he hinted that he could still have a future at the Emirates.

Mari made just three first-team appearances for Arsenal in the first half of the season before leaving on loan. Italian outfit Udinese snapped him up for the remainder of the campaign.

The centre-back made his debut in the 2-0 Serie A victory over Torino on February 6. He has since featured in three more games, helping Udinese to pull off impressive draws against Lazio and Milan.

Mari is aiming to get an extended run of matches to boost his confidence. He could then come back to the Premier League as a better player ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

During an interview with ESPN, the Spaniard was asked if he will play for Arsenal again. He replied: “For me, of course it is possible. I never close that door.

“It continues to be my dream, playing for a big club in the world and for Arsenal of course.

“I played there for two years, I have two more years [on my] contract. Of course, it would be my dream.”

Pablo Mari thanks manager Arteta

Mari also praised Gunners boss Mikel Arteta for allowing him to leave on loan in search of game time.

“Arteta was a really good person in that moment,” Mari added. “He said to me ‘everything that you need, you deserve that. You were a professional player until the end and you deserve it so everything I can help you, I’m going to do it.’

Guendouzi will leave Arsenal this summer following successful Marseille loan

Guendouzi will leave Arsenal this summer following successful Marseille loan

Arsenal will sell Guendouzi this summer after a successful loan at Marseille

“I’m so glad to hear that from a coach because it was not an easy moment for me.”

Mari originally cost Arsenal £6.8million when joining from Brazilian side Flamengo in July 2020. He has made 22 appearances for the North London outfit since then, scoring on one occasion.

Rio Ferdinand delivers Aubameyang verdict

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand has explained why Arteta and Arsenal will benefit from the exit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, despite the striker’s great form with Barcelona.

The Gabon international has found the net four times in as many matches since joining Barca on a free transfer in February. This has led to criticism of Arsenal’s transfer policy, given the fact they paid £56m for Aubameyang in 2018.

But Ferdinand thinks all parties involved are enjoying life now the transfer saga is over.

He said on the Vibe with Five podcast (via the Daily Mirror): “I just feel he [Aubameyang] looks happy again. I saw him at Arsenal for a number of months where he just didn’t look happy.

“People undervalue and underestimate how important your happiness is when you’re a footballer, or any job. You’ve got to have that element of happiness and fulfilment and he just wasn’t having that at Arsenal.

“Both have benefited from him leaving. Arteta has got even more of a stranglehold on the squad, more respect – they know where they stand now. There’s a line that they don’t go beyond, we don’t know the details of that.”

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