Brazilian international David Luiz has commended new Arsenal signing Pablo Mari for his debut performance during Monday’s FA Cup 2-0 win over Portsmouth. Sokratis put Arsenal ahead in first-half when volleyed home Reiss Nelson’s cross before Eddie Nketiah netted the winner from close range in the second half.
The Spanish centre-back has not played for Arsenal’s first team since joining the Gunners on loan in January from Brazilian side Flamengo but featured for 90 minutes as Mikel Arteta’s side reached the FA Cup quarter-finals.
The Spaniard played alongside Luiz in Arsenal’s defence and helped them keep a clean sheet at Fratton Park. He also showed an impressive display and what Arsenal fans should expect to see when he makes his Premier League debut.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, Luiz heaped praise on the 26-year-old for his performance and also promised to help his centre-back partner. He added that Arsenal will make the fans happy by winning games.
“I’m so happy for Pablo, he’s a great guy, a great player and he had an amazing game,” said Luiz.
“So we are here to help each other and we are here, 25 players, ready to play, ready to play for Arsenal and ready to give the best job.
“When it’s like that it’s a pleasure to play football as I will say to the guys, especially to these young lads who are starting football.
“They are starting with a great opportunity at a big club and they are doing great, so it’s a pleasure to play with them.
“I think it’s really important to continue what we’re doing every single day. We are improving a lot but you have to be humble and we understand we are not there yet.
“You have to be ready to react and you have to be ready to understand the importance.”
Marri has played just a matter of minutes for Arsenal’s under-23 side since before making his debut at Fratton Park. The Spanish defender’s last senior performance was at the final of the Club World Cup against Liverpool.
The 26-year-old also pleased his boss Mikel Arteta, who was encouraged by Mari’s contribution.
“He was very good, he was very solid, very vocal,” Arteta said. “And we didn’t see the lack of rhythm that he has because he hasn’t played in two-and-a-half months I think but in general, overall, really happy.”
Arsenal will return to the Premier League on Saturday when they face West Ham on Saturday after moving to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.