3 Ways in which Cedric Soares improves Arsenal's squad | Premier League 2019-20
Arsenal had a busy January transfer window, though they did leave their deals until the last minute. They signed Pablo Mari from Brazilian side Flamengo and also scooped a late deal for Cedric Soares of Southampton, both of them coming in on loan until the end of the season.
Cedric is a talented full-back who made a name for himself in England since signing for the Saints in 2015. It hasn't always been smooth running for him at the club but as he nears the end of his contract, he will play for the Gunners until the end of the season.
Under Mikel Arteta, times are exciting so Soares will be eager to get involved with this new project. Arsenal will guarantee the Portugal international game time as the reason he was brought in was to amend their injury issues in the full-back position. However, the benefits will go both ways, as he is bound to be a great asset to Arsenal for the remainder of the season.
Here are three ways in which Cedric Soares will benefit Arsenal.
#1 Experience from around the world
One thing which strikes me about Soares is the sheer amount of experience he has, despite not being too old as a player. The Arsenal loanee has played at the likes of Inter Milan, Southampton, Sporting CP and, of course, the Portugal national team. Among those sides, he has played alongside some of the best players in the game, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
That said, the Portugal international will bring a wealth of experience to this Arsenal team, which hosts a mixture of old and young players. He could act as the ideal mentor to some of Arsenal's younger players, including Bukayo Saka who has shined as a full-back lately.
Soares has learned plenty about the game from an array of mentors so he will know how crucial collectiveness is to a side, especially one like Arsenal who want to get back to being the force they once were. With experience comes leadership qualities, so this is obviously going to benefit Arsenal's youngsters.
#2 Ability to play in more than one position
One of the main dilemmas which Arsenal tend to face is injury crises. In fairness, their medical team are kept on their toes because there always seems to be at least one player injured at any given time.
Currently, Arsenal face a surplus of defenders on the treatment table. Calum Chambers, Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney are all injured and this is partly why Cedric Soares was convinced to join Arsenal. They needed him to fill a void which is in constant need, so game time shouldn't be an issue.
The good news for Arsenal is that Cedric has the ability to play in more than one position, whether that be across the backline (as either full-back) or in midfield (again, on either flank). His favoured position is to play on the right but this tends to be taken by Hector Bellerin, so if needed, at least Arteta knows he can deploy the Portuguese as a left-back.
#3 A defence-minded full-back
Cedric has all it takes to be a threat in the final third, that's for sure. However, what I like the most about him is his defensive work. He is a traditional full-back that would much rather do the nitty-gritty and the needful than flurry forward to help with attacks.
This will definitely win the hearts of the Arsenal faithful who seem to value the spirit to track back in a player. Indeed, this is the reason why they have fallen out with Mesut Ozil and Hector Bellerin in the past, although the two of them have greatly improved under new management.
Cedric isn't afraid to put his body on the line in order to prevent attacks and this is a dying trait in modern full-backs. As Arteta looks to return Arsenal to the basics of defending, having a full-back that is willing to help out persistently will do him a world of good.Published 02 Feb 2020, 09:53 IST