Arsenal handed major Pablo Mari injury boost amid defensive struggles

Arsenal have been handed a major injury boost ahead of the new Premier League season as Pablo Mari is now fit enough to run following his ankle injury.

The Spaniard signed for the club in January but after making his first two appearances for the first team, football – and his Arsenal career – was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

22 minutes into his and the side’s return at Manchester City on June 17, he was substituted having sustained an ankle strain playing against his former club.

“Now running outside and continues strengthening programme. Aiming to return to full training by the end of September.” a statement read on Arsenal’s official website.

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Arriving as the only left-footed centre-back at the club at the time, Mari was key to Mikel Arteta’s plans to improve the Gunners and bring more balance to the side.

Despite Mari’s absence, the now-manager, continued to show his desire for a left-footed centre-back by using both Kieran Tierney and Sead Kolasinac in that role.

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Tierney excelled and was key in the three at the back system which saw the Gunners lift the FA Cup and Community Shield.

In the summer transfer window, Arsenal have gone some way to fill the void left by Mari by signing Gabriel Magalhaes from Lille for £25million. The 22-year-old arrived as another left-footed option at centre-back and was a top priority for Arteta and technical director Edu.

David Luiz sustaining a neck injury days before the Premier League season starting has put more strain on the central defensive positions. Rob Holding was linked with a loan move to Newcastle United but will most likely stay due to the injury list growing.

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