Cedric Soares has revealed that Arsenal’s full-backs have struck up a close relationship in recent months and are working hard collectively to improve both offensively and defensively.
The 29-year-old may not have played that much football since joining the club from Southampton in January, but with 125 Premier League appearances to his name and a Euro 2016 medal in his pocket, he has plenty of experience playing with and against the best in the business.
While he’s keen to share his knowledge, the Portugal international also acknowledges that the right-back role is evolving all the time and that he too must keep honing his game.
In an interview with Gaffer magazine, Soares said: “The role of a right-back has changed. When I started playing football, it was not a fancy position.
“I was a midfielder all of my youth career, but as a professional you see how important the new generation of full-backs are. You’re the extra man. Everyone always has the quality and wants to attack, but defence is my first job.
“If you play as a back four, a full-back needs to be complete, to defend well, especially in the Premier League. It’s a demanding job physically.”
Having game-changing, versatile full-backs has proved integral to the success of Liverpool and Manchester City in recent seasons and it’s something Mikel Arteta will surely be looking to replicate. Whether the current group can emulate their peers at Anfield and the Etihad remains to be seen, but it at least sounds like they are putting in the hours on the training ground.
“We are very close: myself, Hector, [Kieran] Tierney, also [Sead] Kolasinac, Ainsley [Maitland-Niles] and Bukayo [Saka],” revealed Soares.
“We are all working for each other, it’s a big group, we spend time together working on crossing and finishing after training, the small details defensively.
“We have a very good relationship. Arsenal is such a big family club and we all have to be there to help.”
You can read the full interview with Cedric, here. It’s worth a visit for the pictures alone.