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David Luiz is convinced Pablo Mari will be a success in England after his mentor, Jorge Jesus, gave Arsenal’s new signing the seal of approval.
Jesus, who coached Mari at Flamengo, managed Luiz during the start of his career at Benfica and the defender credits a lot of his future success to the 65-year-old.
The pair still regularly keep in touch and naturally spoke when Arsenal struck a deal to sign Mari on loan from Flamengo last month.
The Spaniard only moved to the Brazilian side last summer after being deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester City, but he has kickstarted his career since and Jesus has told Luiz he will be able to cut it in England.
“I speak with Jorge every week, he’s really my friend. He told me to welcome him in the best way because Pablo is ready to play,” said Luiz.
“He’s a great player, he did amazing in Brazil under Jorge Jesus, a coach I know very well. Jorge is my friend and one of the top coaches in the world.
“It was a pleasure for me seeing Pablo and Rodrigo Caio, another friend, doing really well in Brazil. I hope Pablo can help us.
“Pablo was courageous, not scared to try something big [by moving to Brazil]. It was the same with Jorge Jesus, to go to Brazil as a European coach.
“He did great and Brazil is improving a lot, especially in a tactical way. Before it was just players with individual talent and not tactics.
“Now the football there is improving a lot with its tactical approach, like Tite did with Corinthians.
“That’s why he did such an amazing job, Jorge and everybody. Brazilian football is improving a lot, the quality was always there but now the tactical part is.”
Arsenal have been targeting a player in Mari’s mould as he is able to operate as a left-sided centre-back.
Until now the club have been relying on Luiz to offer the main option there, but Mari can provide competition.
Luiz is ready to fight for his place, but also hinted he could be open to shifting to the right to allow Mari into the team.
“I think it’s good, it’s good when you have a squad with a lot of quality and players. We have a game every week, you have to be happy with this,” the 32-year-old added.
“I always want to play, always want to play in the way the coach wants to play. It doesn’t matter the side, it doesn’t matter which position.
“You guys know I played a lot of positions during my career. I’m always ready for that.”