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Mikel Arteta backs Pablo Mari to be available for Newcastle clash

Pablo Mari

Mikel Arteta believes Pablo Mari will be available for Arsenal's Premier League meeting with Newcastle next weekend.

The Gunners completed the loan signing of the centre-back from Flamengo last week, landing the Spaniard until the end of the season.

Arsenal also brought in Cedric Soares on loan from Southampton, but Arteta does not think the right-back will be ready for the clash with Steve Bruce's side.

"With Pablo a little bit more than Cedric,” Arteta told Arsenal's official website.

“But we have to go step by step. He is a new player and I am sure he is very excited and wants to prove everything in three days, so we have to manage him wisely.”

Arsenal are currently in Dubai for a warm-weather training trip, as they take advantage of the Premier League's first ever winter break.

And Arteta believes it is vital for players to have an opportunity to switch off both physically and mentally.

"You have to, you can’t just maintain the same level of demands of pressure throughout 10 months, it is impossible," he added. "You need those breaks. We suggested Dubai because we have those relationships with our sponsor, but as well because the weather conditions are really good and the players like to come here.

"We knew most of them were going to come here and relax with their families and be ready for training.

[This trip has given us] Hours together, to spend together, grab a coffee together, to have conversations, to have unit meetings, individual meetings, group meetings about the things we have to achieve.

"To review what we have done. I have made a big review of what we have done so far in these five or six weeks, the things where we can improve, the areas where we have improved and that we have to maintain, that we cannot lose. Hopefully we can make another step forward as a team now."

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