Arsenal have left their dealings late this January window, but have now confirmed their second signing in three days.
After announcing on the arrival of Flamengo centre back Pablo Mari on Wednesday, the Gunners confirmed their newest recruit - Southampton right back Cedric Soares.
In what may be a surprising move to some, Arteta’s second signing as Arsenal boss is a 28-year-old full-back from a mid-table Premier League outfit on loan. Not the most exotic of acquisitions, but the Spaniard will know Arsenal’s business has to be smarter than it has been in recent years.
Expectation is Arsenal will complete signing of 28yo Portugal full-back Cedric Soares from Southampton within 24hrs. Loan until end of season will earn #SaintsFC £5m inc full salary cover + put #AFC in pole position if they want permanent when free agent in summer @TheAthleticUK— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 29, 2020
The reported breakdown of the deal will see Arsenal pay a loan fee totalling £5 million pounds to Southampton until Cedric becomes a free agent in the summer when his Saints contract runs out.
Can’t make any sense out of the Soares links. Barring serious long term fitness concerns with Bellerin, it seems pretty strange to prioritize a backup RB in January. Especially considering the perfectly competent job done by AMN since Arteta arrived.— YankeeGunner (@YankeeGunner) January 29, 2020
Whilst the move has divided the Gunners fanbase, many see Cedric signature will have a positive impact on Arsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Mainland-Niles has had to operate as a makeshift right back whilst Hector Bellerin nursed his major knee injury, and the 22-year-old did impress there.
I remember we were linked with Cedric a few windows ago, and at the time I thought it was a great move. Think the same this time.— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) January 29, 2020
However, Maitland-Niles made no secret of his desire to play in his natural position in midfield. Cedric’s arrival will give him the chance to do that, whilst the former Saints right-back will presumably operate as Hector Bellerin’s deputy.
#AFC | A move for Cedric makes a lot of sense at this time.— Chris Davison (@cdavison_afc) January 29, 2020
He's a full back who can play on either side, Premier League experienced and the price will be cheap due to his contract ending in the summer.
Let's wait and see what the next couple of days bring us.
Arsenal’s defensive frailties are no secret, so any kind of addition to their back-line comes in with immense pressure to tighten things up.
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