Arsenal set date for potential Pablo Mari debutby Metro Sport Reporter
Arsenal are hopeful Pablo Mari will be ready to make his Arsenal debut next week against Olympiacos in the Europa League.
The Spaniard arrived on loan from Flamengo last season but the Gunners have the option to make the deal a permanent one come the summer.
Mari, who signed for Manchester City earlier in his career but failed to make a single appearance for the current Premier League champions, was deemed not ready to feature in the goalless draw with Burnley prior to the winter break.
Arsenal’s first team squad spent six days in Dubai on a warm weather training camp over the course of the last week and the club confirmed the first signing of the Arteta era is in contention to feature when the north London club’s European campaign resumes.
Fellow January loan recruit Cedric Soares, however, is not due to return to full first team training for another fortnight as he continues his recovery from a foot injury.
Kieran Tierney, too, is not scheduled to make a return to full training until the end of February, but fellow left-backs Bukayo Saka and Sead Kolasinac will be available for Sunday’s match against Newaste, as will Reiss Nelson who has recovered from a hamstring strain.
Earlier this week, the England Under-21 international who has featured prominently under Arteta since he succeeded Unai Emery praised the work of the former club captain.
He said: ‘Now is a great time to have him as a manager because he understands what I am good at. He’s going to give me the encouragement when I need it, and if I am not doing the right stuff he is going to tell me.
‘I have all my belief in Mikel and I think he is going to make me into a top player.’