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The Truth about Cedric Soares – Crime of the century or shrewd squad building and advanced planning?

The Truth about Cedric Soares

arsenal-training-cedric-soares

On the back of an oddly timed, presumably Adidas promoted, announcement of his permanent signing I wanted to get a few things off my chest about Cedric Soares.

Let me preface this all by saying I want Bellerin to get back to his best, improve on that under Arteta and stay a long time, but please can we stop this nonsense that Soares is not an adequate rotational option for an Arsenal team aspiring for Champions League.

Hands up, I lived in the Southampton area for 13 years until 2017, I followed the fortunes of the Saints, as many friends were supporters, so I have long admired the Portuguese International.

All I am aiming to do here is dispel a few ridiculous myths:

Soares is not a player capable of playing for a top club.

Even if you discount his track record for Southampton, in 2018/19 the player was taken on loan by Inter Milan and provided perfect cover for Danilo D’Ambrosio who had been their first choice for many years. This is the role Arsenal will probably require of him and for Inter he played 4 matches in the league recording 2 assists and 4 Europa League outings.

Cedric-inter

Top cover at Inter

In addition, from 2014 to 2018 he was either first- or second-choice right back for Portugal, who are hardly minnows in international terms. Indeed, it is only four year ago he took over as first choice in the round of 16 at the Euros, keeping his pace for the next three matches that saw Portugal crowned Champions of Europe. As recently as the World Cup 2018 he was still taken in the national squad to Russia.

process

On way to winning Euro 2016

To fall behind players such as Barca’s Nelson Semeda and Leicester’s Ricardo Pereira when it comes to Portugal is a hardly a disgrace. It would be akin to saying Trippier is now pants because Alexander-Arnold and Wan Bissaka are ahead of him in Southgate’s plans.

Is Bellerin bad because Carvahal, Roberto and Azpilicueta are good?

This is not like us signing a 34 year-old Lichtsteiner, a has-been, who had lost his pace. Soares is only 28 and still aspires to play at the top level for club and country. Exactly the type of understudy Arsenal needs: hungry and wanting to put pressure on Bellerin and impress Arteta.

Soares was signed injured and is a crock!

For some reason because Arsenal signed him on loan when injured – (the club’s choice – not the player’s) – Arsenal fans have decided the player is a sick-note or crock, to use common parlance, when this is patently not true.

Over his career Cedric Soares has had many minor injuries but no major ones and importantly, unlike some players, such as an Aaron Ramsey for example, the injuries he has suffered are not recurring. So, we should not expect recurring similar soft tissue of muscle injuries.

Here below is a complete record of his injuries throughout his career. Injuries have cost him 47 games in 8 years. In summary, if we average a season out at say 50 matches for a top side, Soares has, on average been unavailable for 6. Hardly the track record of a sicknote!

Cedric-Injuries

For context below is Bellerin’s injury track record largely skewed by the ACL but it illustrates that the Spaniard has been susceptible to ankle issues which twice have caused him to miss more games than Cedric has ever missed in a season until 19/20. No one is labeling Bellerin a crock and nor should they, but his injury record simply confirms why we need quality backup.

Bellerin-Injury

I know from the Saints Physio that he is an excellent trainer and that he still wants to play at a higher level than he felt possible with Southampton.

Don’t tarnish the player because of his agent or his contract.

Finally, I feel there is perhaps, an element of Cedric Soares being judged and opinions on him formed because of his agent.

It is not the player’s fault that his agent seems to have a close, or even unhealthily influential relationship with Arsenal. Indeed, one might applaud him for his choice as Kia is one of the best agents for players.

Kiia

Judge the player not his agent

We can question the fact that the player was offered four years on the back of an injury, but as I have proved it was a blip of a long-term injury and the first of his career. There is no reason why 28-32 should not be top years for a fullback still fit enough to work forwards and back but with more experience to know when to.

You cannot blame Soares for taking a signing on fee if it’s offered to him and his wages – for a player of his experience and stature – are low compared to most at the club.

Conclusion

Arsenal have signed a 28-year-old experienced international full back, on a four-year deal, with no major transfer fee, on moderate wages, to be a rotational squad player capable of pushing their first choice right back.

Crime of the century or shrewd squad building and advanced planning?

Have I changed your mind or at least given you pause for thought?

PS – Speaking Portuguese is increasingly looking like an asset at Arsenal LOL!

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9 Responses to The Truth about Cedric Soares – Crime of the century or shrewd squad building and advanced planning?

  1. Roger G August 25, 2020 at 12:15 pm #

    Makes real common sense to me

  2. zTOM August 25, 2020 at 12:20 pm #

    I don’t mind Cedric being at Arsenal, I’m just more worried that we’re apparently trying to sell our other 2 RBs!
    Injuries aside Bellerin stagnated due to a lack of competition for his place allowing him to be complacent.
    Adding Cedric into the mix solved that.
    And IF Bellerin was to be sold to PSG then we’d really need Ainsley as a backup option at least to push Cedric to perform or be dropped too.

    If we do sell Hector/Ainsley, I really hope the club ALREADY have a replacement RB lined up!

    • Dave Seager August 25, 2020 at 1:26 pm #

      Can you really see HB going a club owned by folk with their human rights record. He strikes me as too principled

      • zTOM August 25, 2020 at 2:14 pm #

        Money talks I guess?
        Champions League and trophies guaranteed every year too.

        His principles would be challenged for sure! 🙂

        It’s not like he couldn’t increase his charity work alongside his pay raise to balance things out with his conscience.

        Or that ANY billionaires funding football clubs don’t have blood on their hands anyway…

  3. Omar August 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm #

    Great read, Dave, the thing is, most seemed to miss is that Arteta wanted him and even spoke highly of him to the point that he’s is much better then the 2 we already use in that position, If Arteta is happy with him that’s good enough for me

    • Dave Seager August 25, 2020 at 1:27 pm #

      Thanks as always

  4. Victor Thompson August 25, 2020 at 4:04 pm #

    I hate to be negative Dave but I have some doubts about Cedric. Firstly I do not want AM to leave as I have been convinced by the quality of his play at the latter days of the league and Euro Championship. I have not seen much from Cedric that would persuade me that he is better than AM. I also find it odd that in a serious article from a trusted writer, who has to go to meticulous gathering of his play and its constant nature. I fear that if he is as good and reliable as you say then he should not need your support to convince the fans that he is capable of replacing Ashley- Miles.

    When I read how many of our players are in the shop window, and despite that, we can`t go for top rated players until we sell them. I fully understand that, but it is hard to agree with selling the likes of AM,and Lacazette they are not being used to get a midfield destroyer. Parte will cost £47m so if we are going to sell the above two players we could get him. I could then visualise Cedric as a reserve for Bellerin. I am disappointed already because when I look at prospective team sheets Ashley`s name will not be there even as a reserve!

    • Dave Seager August 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm #

      Victor, Cedric’s signing has nothing to do with AMN who has not ever been a right back and has no desire to be, I don;t want AMN to leave but see it as entirely unrelated.

    • Dave Seager August 25, 2020 at 4:12 pm #

      Ps His name is Ainsley haha

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