Arsenal are set to sign Cedric Soares from Southampton on loan until the end of the season, in a deal which could cost the Gunners £5 million.
According to The Athletic correspondent, David Ornstein, Arsenal are prepared to make their second coup of this January transfer window in the form of Cedric Soares. The Gunners are expected to seal a loan deal for the Southampton defender and the move could be officiated today.
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 loan deal, which could cost Arsenal £5 million, will expire at the end of the season. After that, they will be handed an opportunity to sign the defender on a permanent basis, in the summer. However, the north London giants will have to cover Cedric’s full wages during his short loan spell at the Emirates.
This could be a sensible move from Mikel Arteta, who was keen on bolstering his defensive unit in this January’s transfer window. The Spaniard has already brought in Pablo Mari from Flamengo. The centre-back also joined Arsenal in a short-term loan deal, expiring at the end of the season, although the club has an option to make the deal permanent in the summer.
Cedric, in that regard, could become the second player to join the Gunners this month. And the potential arrival of the Portuguese international could serve as a sigh of relief for not only Arteta but also the fans, who have been yearning for the addition of a reliable alternative to Hector Bellerin.
Indeed, Arsenal have faced real problems in the right-back department in recent years. Bellerin has struggled with a host of fitness issues over the past couple of years. Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been used as the primary cover for the Spaniard. But, he lacks the technical quality required to succeed in Arteta’s tactical system. That explains the interest in Cedric.
The Southampton star is a well-balanced full-back, who can not only keep up with his marker, but is also quite proficient from set-pieces. That means he can provide offensive support to wingers out wide while his defensive prowess could add more solidity to the Arsenal backline.
Moreover, the Portuguese international has a considerable amount of experience in the Premier League and has also won 33 caps for his country. Hence, he shouldn’t find it difficult too settle in quickly at Arsenal. It now remains to be seen if Arsenal can get their second winter signing over the line by getting Cedric onboard.