Mikel Arteta explains his reasons for wanting to sign Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari

Mikel Arteta has made two signings for Arsenal during the January transfer window
Mikel Arteta has made two signings for Arsenal during the January transfer window (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta insists he is happy with Arsenal’s work during the January transfer window following the arrivals of Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares.

Injuries to the likes of Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney had left Unai Emery’s successor fretting about the lack of defensive options available to him.

Spaniard Mari, who was on Manchester City’s books but failed to make a single appearance for the Premier League champions, joined initially on loan but the Gunners have an option to make the move a permanent one at the end of the season.

Similarly, Cedric 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: ‘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.

Pablo Mari could make his Arsenal debut against Burnley on Sunday
Pablo Mari could make his Arsenal debut against Burnley on Sunday (Picture: Getty)

‘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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