Arsenal Set To Make Shock Move For Southampton Defender: A Move The Gunners Need To Make?

Cedric Soares of Southampton in action during the Premier League match between Southampton and Swansea City at St Mary's Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

According to Telegraph, Arsenal are plotting a move for Cedric Soares as we head into the final few days before the winter transfer window slams shut. It is believed that the Southampton right-back is available for just £6 million, which has caught the eye of the Arsenal board. As a result, Mikel Arteta is now keen on securing a deal for the Portuguese defender.

Cedric’s spell at Southampton

Cedric initially joined Southampton way back in 2015, in a €7 million move from Sporting CP. He instantly became a crucial member of the Southampton backline, making 24 league appearances in his debut campaign. He played an even more prominent role in the following two seasons, notching up 30 and 32 appearances respectively. 

Cedric’s performances at Southampton were more than decent. As a result, Inter came calling at the start of last year, signing him on a short-term loan deal. But, the Portuguese international struggled in this new adventure, failing to make himself a first-team regular in Serie A, making only four league appearances. He ended up returning at St. Mary’s Stadium in the summer.

And now, the 28-year-old has once again become a key member of the Southampton side, currently managed by Ralph Hasenhuttl. His work-ethic and aggression have helped the Saints become a cohesive unit under the leadership of the German mastermind.

PORTO, PORTUGAL – MAY 29: Cedric Soares of Portugal challenges Markus Henriksen of Norway during the International Friendly match between Portugal and Norway at Dragao Stadium on May 29, 2016, in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Why Arsenal should sign Cedric

Arsenal are in dire need of reinforcements in the defensive department. While their need for a new centre-back is already well documented, signing a right-back in this January transfer window could also be a necessity.

Hector Bellerin has finally returned to full fitness after missing a chunk of the season due to injury. But, the Spaniard cannot be considered as a reliable option given his poor fitness record. That leaves Arteta with Ainsley Maitland-Niles as his only other option in the right-back slot.

Cedric, in that regard, should provide fresh competition to both Maitland-Niles and Bellerin in defence. The Southampton star has a considerable amount of experience at the highest level of football, and his overall quality in defence could tune in well with Arteta’s tactical setup at the Emirates.

But more importantly, Cedric is a cost-effective option in Arsenal’s bid to solve their right-back problems. As he is available for only £6 million, it could allow the Gunners to reinforce their defensive department without having to reach deep in their pockets, thus making Cedric an ideal target.

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.