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Transfer Deadline Day: Cedric Soares Joins Arsenal

Cedric

Cedric Soares

The January transfer deadline day is back again as clubs make those last minute deals required to solidify their squads ahead of the grueling second half of the football campaign. Arsenal, like other Premier League clubs, have had their fair share of transfer deadline day drama, with that famous ‘trolley dash’ of 2011 that saw Arsene Wenger sign five players after the humiliating defeat to Manchester United. We also remember the Andrei Arshavin saga that was protracted to the point the transfer window had to be extended for the deal to go through.

It was evident that defensive recruitments were required this January in the wake of the well publicized challenges faced from Calum Chambers’ long term injury and Skhodran Mustafi suffering a knock as well, which made the Gunners sign Pablo Mari on loan from Flamengo. In addition to Pablo Mari, Arsenal has confirmed the signing of Southampton’s Cedric Soares on loan till the end of the season. 

Arsenal’s Technical Director, Edu, had some good words to say about the new signing, 

“Cedric is a defender with good experience of the Premier League, and of course at international level. He is another strong addition to our defensive unit who will provide our squad with quality. I know he is a player who plays with absolute full commitment and energy. We are all looking forward to going into the last stages of the season with Cedric as part of the club.”

Cedric has spent the best part of five seasons with Southampton and has been an ever-present for the Saints until this season, when he struggled with injuries and form. He had a very brief stint with Inter Milan but it didn’t work out with the Italian giants featuring him just four times. Cedric is a seasoned professional that has bags of experience and an instrumental part of the Portugal squad that won the 2016 European Championship. 

His transfer to Arsenal clearly changes the dynamic for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, that has been a good utility squad member, filling in for the unavailable folk on specific occasions. AMN is a central midfielder by trade and has done very well under Mikel Arteta but having a natural like Cedric gives balance to the team.

His transfer is also regarded as a shrewd piece of business as he arrives to the club on loan and will be available as a free agent this summer. His loan spell will serve like an audition and let’s hope he does enough to secure a long term deal.

Sayonara.

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Cedric on the Way and Pablo Mari Loan Confirmed

Cedric

Cedric Soares

After a series of negotiations between Arsenal  and Flamengo, a loan deal for Pablo Mari was reached and the club unveiled Dani Ceballos their shiny new defender. The Telegraph reported that Arsenal has some interest in signing Southampton’s Cedric Soares, which will add some depth on the right back position. 

Defense is a department of the squad that requires massive overhauling with the Gunners conceding goals for fun this season. Yes, Bernd Leno, has been superb with some breathsaving saves in the course of the campaign, but the defensive leaks have not been patched, with the Gunners languishing in mid-table and finding clean sheets hard to come by.

We expected a center back to join the club in the January transfer window, with the injury problems faced by Calum Chambers and more recently, Skhodran Mustafi. Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Rob Holding have gone in and out of the treatment table in the course of the season, leaving David Luiz as the fittest center back of the bunch, but he’s reaching his twilight years. It was a case of the club linked with Pablo Mari, Mykola Matviyenko or some defensive alien from outer space, but the defensive situation at the club is a huge cause for concern.

Arsenal fans will be hoping for Pablo Mari to hit the ground running, but I will expect him to stay on the bench when the Gunners visit Turf Moor to take on Burnley this weekend. The home game against Newcastle should be a perfect platform to unleash Pablo Mari to the Arsenal faithful and I believe he will turn out to be a wonderful signing for the club.

Cedric Soares, on the other hand, is a vastly experienced right back that was instrumental to Portugal’s triumphant Euro 2016 campaign. He has been an ever-present for Southampton since he joined the club in 2015. Cedric has had his fair share of injury problems, but he has been a model of consistency for the Saint. 

I also love the fact that he has a decent free kick in him and his delivery from the right flank will come in handy. He will also serve as a good back to Hector Bellerin, but one wonders what the future would hold for Ainsley Maitland-Niles that has deputized in that position for quite some time. Maybe Mikel Arteta sees his future in midfield, but the manager knows best.

We will keep monitoring the Cedric situation and hope that we can seal a deal for him before the window shuts tomorrow.

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