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Mikel Arteta provides fitness update on Pablo Mari

Mikel Arteta news

Arteta suggests Mari may have to wait for debut

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that winter signing Pablo Mari won't be rushed to first-team action despite the fact that he is close to achieving match fitness.

The centre-back joined the Gunners during the closing stages of the January transfer window and he has since been involved on the training pitch to improve on his fitness levels.

Mari will have completed nearly two weeks of full training by the time the Gunners take on Newcastle United this weekend, but Arteta has refused to confirm whether Mari will make his debut in that game.

"With Pablo a little bit more than Cedric, 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," he told Arsenal TV.

Aside from Mari, the trio of Sead Kolasinac, Reiss Nelson and Bukayo Saka have been involved in the training sessions in Dubai following their respective injury comebacks and they may feature in the matchday squad against the Magpies this weekend.