Three weeks ago, it looked like there was a possibility of Cedric Soares leaving Arsenal before he’d even kicked a ball for the club. At least, that’s what it looked like from the outside.
Injured since he joined on loan from Southampton in January, his deal up to 30 June was set to expire and with the financial complications of Covid-19 there were suggestions we might draw a line under the relationship to save a bit of cash.
In the end, Cedric extended until the end of the current season, penned a four-year deal, made his debut against Norwich and scored within a couple of minutes. A fun turnaround for the Portuguese.
It doesn’t sound like the right-back was ever worried about being jettisoned, hinting that Arsenal’s initial interest was about signing him on a free. That he got to join on loan for six months was something of a bonus.
Speaking to Portuguese paper Record (translated by Sport Witness), Cedric revealed: “There was the possibility of coming to Arsenal at the end of the season or me joining in January. Thankfully, it was this way because this period allowed me to be involved with the group.
“Arsenal are in a process of evolution, they showed they trust me and they presented me with a very interesting project. The confidence of the club was shown through the contract, which made me very happy.”
Mikel Arteta has already said that of all his options on the right side of the defence, Cedric arguably offers the most in the attacking third. It sets the bar high for the Euro 2016 winner but he doesn’t mind that. In fact, he seems to be enjoying the challenge of the step up from Southampton.
“I’ve been in England for a few years, I know the league well, but of course there’s always an adaptation,” he said.
“Arsenal are a huge club with a great history and that’s why I was so excited to sign for the club. They have a very strong footballing philosophy and so far the adaptation has been excellent. I know the city, the league, and my teammates have helped me a lot, as well as the technical team and all the staff.”
He added: “Since I was a kid I looked at England and Arsenal belonged to the top three year after year. I had the dream of playing for a team like Arsenal and I’m very happy to have reached this level.”