Pablo Mari has called Mikel Arteta “one of the best coaches in the world” as the Arsenal loanee talks about the manager’s role in helping him secure a move away from the Emirates Stadium.
With the 28-year-old defender looking to kickstart his career, he joined Udinese on a loan deal until the end of the season in the January transfer window after making just two appearances in the Premier League before that.
Mari has played four times for the Italian club in the Serie A since signing in January, and has revealed how Arteta played a big role in allowing him to leave the Gunners in order to get more regular football under his belt.
Speaking to ESPN, Mari said: “In the winter, we [him and Arteta] made commitments together. I explained my situation to him, my feelings. I don’t play in the last six months.
“[He said] the plan in the next six months until June is going to be the same. I can play, of course, because maybe other centre-backs get injured, there can be a red card, or yellow cards, but it is going to be one, two, maximum three or four games. At the end. I don’t want that for me.
“[Arteta] was a really, really, really good person in that moment. He said to me ‘everything that you need, you deserve that. You were a professional player until the end and you deserve it so everything I can help you, I’m going to do it’.
“I’m so glad to hear that from a coach because it was not an easy moment for me.”
Mari then went on to label Arteta as one of the best in his profession because of how easy he makes football to play.
He added: “I have to say he is one of the best coaches in the world because when he does the game plan, I never see it like this.
“How he finds solutions for us and makes it easy to play the game: I’ve never seen something like this. That means he is an amazing coach. To give you the tools to play a game more easily, that’s amazing because when you go to the pitch, you already have in your head the type of thing you have to do to play easy.”