Arsenal’s loanee Serie A with relegation clause makes debut

MONZA, ITALY: Pablo Mari of AC Monza kicks the ball during the Serie A match between AC Monza and Torino FC at Stadio Brianteo on August 13, 2022. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

With the news that Pablo Mari’s loan move to AC Monza has an obligation to buy if the Serie A side avoid relegation, Arsenal fans will be watching Monza’s results this season closely.

There has been talk that Mari would also have to make a number of appearances for the deal to become permanent, so it was significant that he walked straight into Monza’s starting line-up on Saturday.

The centre-back played the full 90 minutes of the Italian league opener against Torino but it didn’t quite go to plan.

Torino scored either side of half-time to build a comfortable 2-0 lead, with a late consolation from Monza not enough to turn the tables.

Italian outlet Alfredo Pedulla heaped some of the blame for Monza’s first goal conceded to Mari, writing it stemmed from a “defensive mess” by the Arsenal man.

Although it seems harsh, because Mari simply made a necessary tackle that fell on an opponent.

Even so, it was not the ideal start for the lender. Torino certainly had too many good chances, and they took all the points with a few easy goals.

Mari hopes he just needs time to settle in and get up to speed with his new teammates, and that defensive solidity will come as the season progresses. But as of this writing, Monza are in the relegation zone.

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