Cedric Soares embodies all the qualities that manager Mikel Arteta expects from his players.
The Portuguese is hungry, ambitious, versatile and able to lead his teammates. He silenced many of the doubters who thought his signature was mediocre.
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Indeed, it was these ties to certain “super agents” that led some people to question the move, but almost a year later the 29-year-old proves what a wise acquisition he was for the club.
Cedric has made 11 Arsenal appearances this season, with the Gunners winning eight, drawing once and losing only twice.
His versatility mentioned above is a key trait that makes it easy for Arteta to give him chances in the Premier League. He has played in a three-man defense as right-back, left-back and full-back, all positions Arsenal have struggled with in recent years.
It cost the Gunners less than £ 1 million to borrow Soares for six months. This move became final in the summer and he will now see the best years of his career at the club. Technical Director Edu was criticized for the move at the time, but it can now be viewed as a smart business for an arsenal hierarchy that needed to be wise in their financial decisions.
“Anything can happen in the Premier League and now we are in a good moment,” said Cedric after beating Southampton.
“We have to take advantage of it because every point is important and we have to keep fighting for every point and game. This is what we do and we know we haven’t had the best start to the season but now there, we’re working , the team is in great shape and I hope we continue.
“It’s the best league in the world so that’s honestly great. Football is getting so much more competitive and it’s harder to win, but Arsenal are here to compete and we have our goals to be high in the league to reach. We. ” have to keep working to achieve it. “
Based on his Europa League stats this season, Cedric has 1.6 chances per game (third best on the team), an 85 percent passing accuracy, 5.4 flanks per game and 1.4 tackles per game (best on the team) achieved.
It should be noted that Cedric spent six months on the sidelines with an injury when he arrived at the club prior to the coronavirus hiatus outbreak, which raised questions about whether the club should have loaned him out.
His performances for Southampton have always been consistent and he is a player who doesn’t ask for the limelight on or off the pitch. Cedric’s pass to Bukayo Saka in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Saints was satisfied with helping his teammates and highlighted why it could be the answer to what Arsenal need right now.
Edu is on the market for a replacement team with Sead Kolasinac on loan and Kieran Tierney not being able to play every game in an overloaded schedule for the next few months.
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This paves the way for Cedric to get more chances on the starting line-up, and it’s an opportunity he grabbed with both hands at St. Mary’s as he put in an accomplished defensive and offensive performance.
He made two important passes at the left-back against Southampton, won five out of seven on-site matches and was lauded by fans on social media after the game.
If he continues to perform like this, it would be no surprise if the European champions become a mainstay in Arsenal’s defense sooner rather than later.