Here are the Arsenal evening headlines for Monday February 22, 2021.
Arsenal’s €1m loss
By handing Pablo Mari a surprise start in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester City yesterday afternoon, manager Mikel Arteta’s decision has cost Arsenal in the region of €1m.
This is in relation to the 27-year-old joining the Gunners on a permanent deal last summer after initially arriving on loan in Arteta’s first transfer window as manager/head coach.
football.londonspoke to someone close to Mari who confirmed that “there are some performance bonuses” included in the transfer fee.
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte reported in January that Arsenal have to pay Flamengo a bonus of €1m (£865,000) every time Mari makes 10 Premier League appearances, up to a maximum of 80 outings.
The centre-back was expected to reach this milestone against Crystal Palace last month, but suffered a calf injury that kept him out of action until Sunday afternoon.
In the second half against City, there was a moment where Arteta was left to rue the absence of Thomas Partey.
It came when Mohamed Elneny found himself on the ball with the opportunity to release Kieran Tierney down Arsenal’s left as they looked for a way back in the game.
“Now Mo, now!” screamed Arteta.
Mikel Arteta on the sidelines at Emirates Stadium
Elneny looked up and saw the space. To play the ball though required a quick switch on his weaker left foot, and the Egyptian quickly lost his nerve.
The midfielder’s actions drew the ire of his boss who slapped his thighs in frustration before letting on an exasperated yell of “Come on Mo!”
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