Mikel Arteta opens up and sends Arsenal big message over Mari and Soares deals

Mikel Arteta has revealed the Arsenal deals for defensive pair Cedrik Soares and Pablo Mari.

Once again there was a lot of transfer speculation in the media about possible deals for Arsenal and Arteta was expected to spend big money and acquire some players that would send a real statement to the Premier League.

However, the Spanish boss only managed to secure transfer deals for Mari and Soares, with both players arriving at the club for relatively cheap prices.

Mari joined initially on loan but the Gunners have an option to make the move a permanent one at the end of the season, while Cedric, who also arrives on loan, will offer experienced back-up to Hector Bellerin, who has struggled to maintain his fitness and find his best form since returning from a cruciate knee ligament injury that ruled him out for 10 months.

Explaining the move for Mari, Arteta said on the Sky Sports website: ‘For me he is very important he balances what I want to do from the backline, he gives us more options, more solutions and opens up the pitch more.

‘He is a player we have been following for a few months and we are delighted to have him here.’

The 26-year-old is eligible to make his debut at Burnley on Sunday but Arsenal fans will have to wait a little while longer to see their other new recruit in action after Arteta confirmed Cedric is still struggling with a foot injury. Nevertheless, Arteta is delighted to have the Portugal international on board, adding: ‘He is a player who has big experience, he’s played in this country and in different leagues.

‘He knows what it means. He has been very willing to go to another top club. He has that desire and that commitment. I followed him a few seasons ago and I really like what he can bring and it was the right conditions for us as well to try and improve the squad.

On his fitness he added: ‘He was being assessed yesterday and we will have more results today but he has a little issue and I don’t think he will be available to play.’

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