Following on from reports that emerged yesterday, Arsenal are set to sign Southampton defender Cedric Soares on loan until the end of the season.

The 28 year old is out of contract St Mary’s, and the Gunners will apparently pay around £5m to take him to the Emirates – a fee that includes covering his wages in full, but still feels quite expensive for such a short period of time and for a player you could sign for nothing in five months time.

On the face of it, it’s a strange deal as Hector Bellerin has recently looked much more like his old self after some injury problems and Ainsley Maitland-Niles has done well deputising for him – especially since Mikel Arteta took over. It’s not as if there’s a pressing need at right-back.

However, it looks as if he’ll become a Gunner tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see what happens with Maitland-Niles. Could it be a case he could be shifted into midfield to allow Dani Ceballos to leave after his well documented desire for more playing time?

Soares is represented by Jorge Mendes, and after a long time not dealing with him, he’ll now have been involved in two Arsenal deals. He was also an intermediary between two clubs whose transfer business is run by former Barcelona colleagues (Raul Sanllehi and Marc Ingla) when we signed Nicolas Pepe during the summer for a club record fee of £72m.

Southampton have already moved to fill the gap in their squad by signing Sp*rs prospect Kyle Walker-Peters on loan, while Soares himself was taken off during Southampton’s last Premier League game with a knee ligament injury which is expected to keep him out for around three weeks.

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Houston Gunner

Bizarre ??‍♂️


He can play at left or right back. Theoretically that allows us to push Saka forward into a winger role / gives us backup for Tierney = allows us to sell Kolasniac next year. This also will allow us to play AMN at defensive midfield some as well which might end up being his true position.


Like! Was literally about to post on here for the first time in ages saying just that but more focused on right back in the long term. Bellerin is first choice when he’s got his fitness back and he looks like he’s getting there already. AMN is almost a victim of his own success/flexibility and it’s great knowing he can play there or even on the left if desperate. Soares brings immediate experience and backup to the right back allowing AMN to the mobile backup to Torreira (as you say) which we need, who can handle the ball in tight… Read more »


What if the boss rates Kolasinac? He hasn’t looked bad and definitely not as poor as people make him look. Arteta was at city where they had four full backs plus one or two back ups. Bernardo, Mahrez, sterling and Sane. Rotation is their key. Aguero, AGUERO is rotated too. Here at Arsenal we are used to one definite starter and the sub. God forbid if the fans favourite is the sub, they will let the starter know every time a pass is misplaced. Look how many central midfield combinations Klopp uses at Liverpool. fabinho, ox, Henderson, wijnaldum, Milner, Keita,… Read more »

Billy Bob

Makes you wonder how liVARpool are running away with the league with that lot in midfield!!!


Don’t be childish. VAR has nothing to do with the success of Liverpool


It does a bit though doesn’t it?


Of course it doesn’t. How can a piece of technology be biased towards a team. Sheer nonsense.

Red Cannon

I don’t think VAR actually has anything to do with Liverpool being top, but VAR is a technology being run by human beings, so it’s quite possible that VAR could lead to bias for/against a certain team.


Exactly. VAR provides evidence. The same human beings who make consistently poor and sometimes downright obviously wrong decisions are then left to interpret the evidence.
The question which nobody is asking is: is the purpose of VAR to eliminate/reduce as far as possible mistakes/poor decisions thus removing as much of the element of bias and/or randomness from games and hence results or not?
From what we have seen so far this season, I cannot see how anyone can answer this question in the affirmative. Which raises the question: So for what purpose is it being used?

Bulla cake

Simple answer. For the benefit of cheating.


Struggling to see any other rational explanation. Although I think cheating is the outcome. The point is that the owners if the premiership clubs are almost all external investors with no interest in the clubs as representatives of the local community in which the clubs are based. They are interested in increasing the value of their investment. Wrong decisions on the pitch create media noise which creates clicks which creates revenue which is the rising tide on which all boats float.


Years ago I remember reading an article that implied that the FA doesn’t care if they get things right, but just so people keep up the conversation about the league. So what really has changed with the advent of VAR?


Absolutely nothing. The PL is using VAR in a completely different way to the way any organisation would if it as in any way concerned with ensuring fair okay.. The only people who seem to want VAR used to ensure correct decisions is us the mug punter fans. Question is, for how long are we prepared to put up with this crap?


Fair play, that should read, sorry.


We have a very high wage bill at this point so I suspect the club will look to move on very high earners who aren’t starters either via sales (Papa, Kolasniac) or via allowing their contracts to wind down (Mustafi – doesn’t appear to want to leave via transfer, Ozil). We’re also going to need to either replace Auba this summer if he won’t sign a new deal or hand him Ozil level wages. Lacazette will need a new deal or faces being sold in the next year as well. There are PL limits in terms of how much a… Read more »


I get your point. What am trying to say on the other hand is how dangerous it can be us fans making an opinion on who needs to go when they are still very much in the club plans. I believe Xhaka started falling out with fans when he was played alongside Ramsey in midfield. Most times he was left exposed but slowly by slowly an opinion was formed about his lack of speed, desperate tackles etc. It was a build up that led to where it exploded. Look at him in a different system, but opinions can be hard… Read more »


99% of fans have the ability to rationally discuss players and the makeup of the squad and still fully support whomever the manager puts out there to play. That’s what fans do – we want the team to win & for whomever ultimately is playing to perform well. This isn’t a knock on you but I truly don’t understand the opinion expressed on here by so many that fans can’t disagree with anything the manager or club does and still be fans. Arteta is doing what a competent manager should do – he’s fitting a system around the players he… Read more »


It may or may not come.Great point!


The knee ligament injury is what turned things in his favor. No one takes to injured fullbacks like we do


Signing an injured player…? Kinda ring a bell.
Dennis Suarez, Kieran Tierney, Kim Kalstrom. It never works


Not bizarre as I see it but rather quite impressive. A large, shall we say, a plethora of both young and experienced defensive options for next season. Arteta will have personally worked extensively with all but one (Saliba) of them. We all begged to be in this situation this year and now, albeit 1 season late, we will be there with minimal funds spent…well played to all concerned.


Its pretty understandable.

Bellerin is feeling his way to full fitness, Chambers is out for a year (Plus he’s a CB) and AMN seems to be eyeing up Pepe’s position (lol). and we have nobody HD ready in the U23’s

When you view it from that angle it does make some sense


Arteta is just punking Gary Lewin for the lolz. We’re in for Andre Gomez and Leroy Sane too.


Much as I like him, and would be sad to see him go, I am wondering if the truth is AMN should be sold. We’d get a good rate I expect on a young English player with good EPL experience


We need second choice right back. Not having a decent one cost us dearly last season and this season.

Mick Malthouse

Hes injured? Ah that’s what we need – another injured full back.


His injuries aren’t perpetual


It’s a minor injury and he will be ready if we need him for either Newcastle or Olympiacos

Dave M

Knee ligament injuries – the new contusion…
WTF are we doing signing a guy on loan for a hefty fee who is predominantly a RB and is injured for close to a month?! And the type of injury that can go sour really quickly (trust me on this one…you don’t fu*k with knee ligament injuries). Turly bizarre transfer…
Mark me a 1 or 2 on the excited scale out of 10


Kim kallstron


Not remotely bizarre. An experienced international right back which will take away the pressure off Bellerin and AMN too who can revert to his true position in midfield. I am sure that the medical team wouldn’t have allowed him to be signed if they thought it would be a long term injury


Cedric is playing below his level there, I’d welcome him for a bargain price, if we get him on a free at the end of the season, 5 mil is ridiculously cheap in that respect.


The last line makes it certain that Soares is definitely going to be an Arsenal player: “….while Soares himself was taken off during Southampton’s last Premier League game with a knee ligament injury which is expected to keep him out for around three weeks.”


Southamptons last premiership game was when? We don’t have a game for a fortnight after this weekend.
Cant see the problem.


Why? Seems rather pointless, may as well use under 23 players to give them experience.

Lack of Perspective

Arteta knows


As long as it was his call.


Ah. The annual ‘injured player signed by Arsenal’ bit. It’s pretty much a tradition at this point, I guess.

Obama Young

I can only laugh at this point. Does any other club bring in pre-injured players on January loans anywhere near as often as Arsenal? Kallstrom, Denis Suarez, now Soares…


It’s worth to remember that Maitland-Niles consider himself as a midfielder. He supposed to be a makeshift right back, not a permanent solution there.


If/when Nico needs a rest, Cedric behind AMN on the right side. ✌


He’s a fullback.

No matter what he prefers to consider himself he has been playing fullback for 3 plus seasons now.

And he is yet to convince at midfield. Plus we need better than AMN there.


Sorry but when did he play midfield?


Like one game under emery, centrally I believe, and a few on the wing. Not exactly adequate time to “convince” supposed fan.


Quality player. Can play right/left I believe. Has a great engine and good crosses. Remember I have been impressed the few times I have seen him play for the last years. Some Southampton insiders fill me in….

Artetas Assistant

Robertson-y ?


Put the money into where its needed! I would rather see our talented kids get more chances than pay millions for another injured loan signing! Let’s write off this season put it down as a bad experience pretend we’re seriously chasing top four like Man Ure! Arteta is making a difference but it will be this summer that shapes the team we support so let’s not chuck muck at a wall to see if Kim Kallstrom sticks


I would pay fucking triple if he contributes as much as Kim Källström


‘Money where it’s needed’
For years we’e bemoaned not spending money on our defence..we spend 5m on a pl proven player to give us reinforcement and people still moan ?

Dave M

He’s on loan and he’s bloody injured mate (knee ligament injury at that). Really what is there to be excited about this deal?


Wouldnt say I was excited mate but it’s another option in the squad that can do a job, I actually have faith in Arteta to make sound decisions

Dave M

Sure, he can do a job…maybe by march…


It actually makes sense. Ok hes injured and hes cost 5m on a loan, but if he works out well we can sign him on a free when his contract expires. We can then look at is as a 5m transfer, which is a steal in today’s market and would know before hand whether hes right for the team. If hes gash we let him go, ok we lost 5mill but wouldn’t be saddled with a player we dont want on a long term contract, which as we all know has been arsenals modus operandi for years. Arsenal showing sensible… Read more »


5m inc his wages. Ild guess he’s on at least 40k so the loan fee isn’t as high as first appears


I just don’t get this…hopefully there is sound reasoning behind this that just hasn’t been publicized yet.


Very sound reasoning imo, pls see above


He’s an international right back with Premier League experience. That’s pretty sound reasoning to me


AMN getting treated like Joel Campbell out here!

Terry Henry

AMN – Get out while you can


Why? Now he can play more in his true position in midfield where he is far happier.


Not sure AMN is good enough for central midfield or the wing at Arsenal. His best bet was right back, but does not look like he or the club see his future there. It would be a shame as he is Arsenal through and through.


It took him this long / this many games at rb to nail down the basics of the position, let’s give him some time in the others before we judge


We can’t afford that many games in midfield or wing for him to adjust. We have Willock, ESR coming through as well, and Nelson for the wing slot to back up Pepe.

Perhaps Arteta does intend to give him a chance- if so it will be the make-or-break chance..


He has hardly had any chances at playing in the position that he is happiest at so why not give him the chance


I agree. The writing is on the wall. I’m not the biggest Bellerin fan (if he keeps scoring big goals that might change), but it’s pretty clear that AMN won’t get the opportunity to fight for starting RB. I don’t get it. But we don’t need to understand everything. It has been years going on a decade of confusing and disappointing Arsenal personnel decisions


think we all have to wait and see whats the purpose of this deal is, espcially in terms of AMN. hector is just coming back, dont think he can play 5×90 straight and i dont know whats costly anymore tbh. a steady backup for 5m inclusive wages?!


Really what is the point in signing him?…If we are to sign a right back,he should be better than our two right backs especially in terms of defending…

Belfast Gooner

We don’t have 2 right backs. We have 1! AMN is a midfielder. This makes sense. He’s back up to Hector.
If we get past Portsmouth in the cup, and City get through tonight, we are looking at 2 possibly 3 rearranged PL matches towards the end of the season. Hector can’t play 2 games a week like that. And that’s not taking into account how far we go in the Europa League.
If Cedric is crap, we walk away, but he is proven PL experience, and saves us playing other players out of position.


Edu’s first two signings are interesting….
Hopefully they both work out.
I have serious concerns, but time will tell.


What are the concerns?
Both cheap, provide cover, with options to buy, good business imo.


The concerns are the ever growing presence of the likes of Jorge Mendez and Arturo Canale.

The reported agent fees attached to the signing of Pepe….

I get there’s a cost to doing business, however I worry we’ll move away from scouting, to a more of a who you know transfer policy.

The proof will be in the pudding, I know nothing about either player, hopefully both signings work out well.

And we haven’t just taken the first two players who were offered to us by Raul’s mates.


The other concern would be pushing a player like Niles, who’s come out of our academy, further down the pecking order.

I don’t think it’s a good look, particularly if we’re not signing a player who we think is a crystal clear upgrade.


He’s an experienced international fullback with Premier League experience so why shouldn’t he be an upgrade to AMN who is a midfielder deputising as right back


You forgot about Martinelli which hasn’t worked out badly


Martinelli was a Francis Cagiago Signing


He was unearthed by Cagiago our brilliant scout but Edu completed the deal.

Noel Rogers

Phew, that’s a relief, he’s injured.
I was wondering how we were going to get him into the team, but thank
goodness we have at least 3 weeks to work that out!!!!!!!!!!!

Billy Bob

Now that made me laugh out loud


I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have some real cover in key positions, who aren’t exceptionally young and playing out of position. A Portuguese international with years of premier league experience. Maybe not an exciting signing, but gives us some real, experienced depth in defense. And for such a small fee (relatively speaking), it seems a prudent, if unspectacular move.


I think this is low risk – he’s a decent full-back, Prem experience, low cost and (as someone else said) allows AMN to cover midfield. Good move for me and keeps powder dry for the summer


Arteta is making decisions. We do not know why he is making some decisions We will never know why he made some decisions. He is the one who will be held most accountable for those decisions. He is likely more capable than any of us in making those decisions. AMN will hopefully be rewarded with some playing time in his normal playing position, he sure has earned it. It appears that Arteta will have the benefit of having a large quiver of defensive options that he has worked closely with when we enter next season while having not spent big… Read more »

Giuseppe Hovno

I don’t think Arteta is making the decisions over signings (although I imagine he wields a fair amount of influence)


Signing an injured player in January… some things never change around here.

The Spoon

Could be a masterstroke, I was hoping we’d try and sign max Aaron’s in the summer though. Then we’d have 2 top quality RBs and could interchange them almost weekly if required. Interesting summer ahead, a CB signed now, Saliba to Come in, holding hopefully back to full fitness, Luiz signed last summer on a 2 year deal, and potentially this guy from Ukraine. I imagine Mustafi and Sokratis will likely depart, or maybe a loan for holding.


I don’t get this one. Waste of time IMO. We already have Bellerin back. AMN has done decent and has played at fullback for 3 plus seasons now. Meanwhile you have United spending 67m on Bruno Fernandes and Spurs spending 27m on Bergwyn plus potentially another 10m+ for a striker. We don’t have the spending firepower particularly as we commited 20m per season to Saliba and Pep fair enough but we need to be keeping up bc last I checked and despite visible imprvements on pitch following Arteta, we are still in tenth. We need to ensure our midfield is… Read more »

Gavin Binding

I love Bellerin but what we can be sure of is any backup to him could easily hit 20+ appearances in a season due to injuries, suspensions, and rotation. That understudy should be an actual right back, so that the manager can concentrate on helping players reach their potential in their natural positions and so that we’re not at a high risk of dropping points during these moments. Soares is about as good as a backup to Bellerin we can hope for. If he can cover LB as well then that’s a bonus. I’m very happy with how we’ve moved… Read more »


5m another issue. Hope its not a Debuchy.

We get him in but we already have two fullbacks on the left with Kolasinac (who has been impressive when available) and Tierney (at 25m)

Saka I expect will be pushed back to the wing next season.

on the right we have AMN who has played fullback 3+ seasons now and Bellerin returned to fold.

We should not be looking in this position.


Debuchy was actually quite great, until that fucker from Stoke decided to end his Arsenal career…


Only positive is its a loan so no issue with offload should he prove ancillary to needs end of season.

Injury to Kolasinac must be worse than expected.


Luiz, Soares, Mari, Martinelli, Torreira and Bellerin all speak both Portuguese and Spanish. Maybe the Arteta ganeplan is to create a language barrier for other teams when our players communicate on the pitch.


Luiz Soares Mari Martinelli? No please. I ‘ll get my coat.


OTOH…I’m all for some defensive strengthening regardless.

If its a loan no harm.

BUT hope we look into midfield as well.


What an Arsenal thing to do, sign an injured player on loan

DB10s Air Miles

So is the idea to sign him on a free if he plays well whilst on loan?


Perhaps Arteta wants to have the option of using Bellerin down the right like he uses Saka on the left, and he sees AMN as someone who can preform the Xhaka role from midfield buy dropping in to the fullback position. I think that would suit Bellerins game better as I don’t think he’s that suited to tucking into the center as the left hand side bombs forward. Pepe would be much more dangerous cutting in from the right if he had anoverlapping fullback to draw defenders as well. For all that to happen we need a back up right… Read more »

Billy Bob

Hadn’t thought of it like that but definitely an idea that could work, smart thinking and comment

Joey Deacon

Totally agree with this line of thinking.


Spot on mate.
But the fee is still too high i think.
5 mil for a loan when the player’s contract is ending in the summer?


It’s a bargain.

Teryima Adi

Let’s just hope this signing makes sense at the end of the day because it sure doesn’t now.


We loan in an injured guy. Nothing new here.


Don’t really get the push back on this, a decent prem level RB as cover for Bellerin and he’s cheap. People need to calm down on AMN I think, he’s had a couple of good games at RB but thats it. Arteta even said himself he’s not a RB and with Ceballos likely to leave he’ll probably be pushed up to midfield anyway.

Tasmanian God

Should have kept the Corporal..


Another injured player on loan


Wow, signing an injured player on loan. We just love that shit don’t we?


What makes me laugh is that a lot of people are saying why do we need someone when we have 2 right backs already? Well if he’s better than either of them the 5m is a bit of a steal. If he can cover leftback as well then all the better. We shouldn’t be so concerned about numbers more about quality. If Mikel thinks he will improve the team and and depth then why don’t we just wait and see.


What is with these super agent conspiracy theories… What has us not being involved with super agent got us in the past…. Not as though we have not had our share of odd signings…Park Chu Young anyone… Lets take a step back and judge these players based on their performance on the pitch.


Could anybody tell me 5 matches in the last 5 seasons when our future DM Maitland-Niles played in his so-called “natural role”?


He didn’t becasue he was needed in the fullback positions. Because we had no backup in these positions. Hence why we are now buying a backup for those positions… It’s really not that hard to understand, unless you dont want to.


Look, Bellerin played about 150 times in the last 5 years as a fullback. Are you saying that during those games there weren’t 5 occasions when we would be happy to play a talented young lad whose natural position is a midfielder (likeGouendouzi, Willock)? I think there were dozens and dozens of opportunities to play him there but none of our last 4 coaches considered him convincing enough in that position.
Contrary – as a RB he now leads our team in terms of tackles and interceprions and became a real challange for Bellerin.


Signing an injured player on loan! Flash back?


Bizarre deal. My guess it’s done to keep Mendes happy so we can get a good deal for more important player.


Could make sense if ceballos goes back to madrid and ainsley goes back to midfield.

Red Arrow

But concerned about the money we are paying for loan deals and the fact that Soares is injured. We also bought Tierney when he had an injury. Hope they know what they’re doing!!


I wonder if this means the beginning of the end of AMN at Arsenal or AMN is viewed as CDM backup for Torreira. Right now there isn’t a good cover for Torreira right now so it would make some sense.

Eboue's step over

I remember the last time we signed an experienced, iberian mid to late twenties full back in January, for a modest fee, a lot of fans voiced concerned because we already had a young hungry versatile homegrown English player in the position.
That didn’t work out too badly.


Hopefully, he will turn out great for us. I look forward to better days ahead.

pierre lacapeppe

from his highlights, seems like a nacho monreal type of player. neat and tidy, clever, good link up, experienced pro.


Will be interesting to see if we have any defensive outgoings as well.

Sure to be some in the summer at least.


Quite strange if you ask me.


“…Soares himself was taken off during Southampton’s last Premier League game with a knee ligament injury which is expected to keep him out for around three weeks”. It is so unlike Arsenal to sign crocked players

Guendouzi Oueddei

I want to see AMN in midfield next to Torreira