Mikel Arteta admits he has been ‘surprised’ by Arsenal signing ‘attitude and commitment’

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Mikel Arteta reveals he has been ‘surprised’ by Pablo Mari’s ‘attitude and commitment’ since joining the Gunners on loan from Flamengo.

The Spanish centre-back joined the Gunners during the January transfer window on a loan deal until the end of the campaign, with Arsenal able to sign him permanently in the summer.

Pablo Mari played 45 minutes for Arsenal’s U23 side on Monday in a 2-1 defeat to London rivals Chelsea and Mikel Arteta was impressed by his play.

‘Well, I watched the game but I could not be there for a personal reason,’ Arteta said. ‘But, I was very glad that those two were there to support him.

‘When he joined the club he hadn’t played for a long time and he had a little niggle as well well when he joined us, but his attitude and commitment has been really, really good and highly surprising.

‘He did really well the other day, and hopefully, we can start to use him soon.’

The Gunners travel to Olympiacos on Thursday night for the first leg of their last-32 clash in the Europa League.

Pablo Mari is in contention to feature for Mikel Arteta’s side and has revealed he desires to emulate some of his fellow countrymen who have starred for the Gunners side in recent years.

‘There have been some wonderful Spanish players to play for Arsenal,’ Mari told Arsenal’s official website.

‘Fabregas, Cazorla, Reyes… they’re all great Spanish players that have passed through this club. One of those legends that we have with us now is Mikel.