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The Spaniard started alongside Rob Holding in his first game in Gunners colours.

Pablo Mari impressed in his start for Arsenal’s U-23s on Monday, even though the newly-signed Spaniard could not quite guide the team to success.

Mari started alongside Rob Holding in Arsenal’s defence, playing the first 45 minutes of a 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Monday.

The protector was mostly solid throughout his 45 minutes, although he had been beaten by Billy Gilmour following the Chelsea attacker get on a rally in the Karl Hein rescue.

But overall, Mari did enough to impress director Steve Bould, who said both central defenders supplied plenty of advice to the young Gunners.

“It is fantastic for the young players to play together,” Bould said. “It is a learning programme and we do not very often get old boys and guys playing with us, and that is how I learned my match when I was a child so it is something we miss out on plenty of times.

“It was actually an excellent match for them to come into. I think Chelsea’s striker is a fantastic player and they have great players throughout the park so it was a good test for them and a good 45 minutes. I am sure they will go on and use that for first-team price.”

He added: ” I thought the performance was really so great, especially in the second half. I believe they edged the first half they had a little more of the ball and we struggled a little bit to keep it.

“In the second half, the boys have done everything that we have asked of them and that I could not request of any more from them besides scoring another goal.”

Forward Trae Coyle, meanwhile, played all 90 minutes after recently recovering from an injury.

And the winger was impressed by Mari, even though Arsenal could not do enough to get the win in the afternoon.

“We have played with Rob lots of times and he has always been great with us,” Coyle said.

“Obviously he’s so much ability and that I was quite impressed with Pablo too. Playing with those two was certainly a big help now.”

“We played well, it is disappointing because I felt like we had the better opportunities so that it’s somewhat disappointing that we did not take any points,” he added. “We will go again next week and hopefully we can put it right.”

The Arsenal first team is fresh off a 4-0 battering of Newcastle on Sunday, with Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette providing the goals.

Now sitting in 10th place, Mikel Arteta’s side will face Olympiacos this week at the first leg of the Europa League tie before taking on Everton this weekend in their return to the Premier League.