Analysis

Cedric Soares ready to hand tough competition to Hector Bellerin

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Mikel Arteta is set to have a strong decision in his hands for the next few years to come at the Emirates Stadium concerning the right-back position.

Hector Bellerin has been the club’s preferred right-back option for the past four to five years. His time with Arsenal has only failed to progress due to the persistent injury concerns he keeps encountering almost every season.

In the 2019/20 season, the Spaniard missed most of the games due to injuries but has returned to full fitness since the appointment of Arteta.

On Deadline Day of the January transfer window, Arsenal secured the loan signing of Cedric Soares from Southampton, which has now been made permanent after his contract at the St Mary’s Stadium ended.

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Until the last two games Arteta’s side have played, Cedric had not featured for the Gunners since his move, largely due to fitness issues which kept him out of the side.

His performances in those games (vs Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers) has however threatened the position of Bellerin in the starting XI.

Bellerin has started 11 league games for Arsenal this season while making two substitute appearances. He also has one goal to his name and has kept three clean sheets. He hasn’t been too convincing for Arteta’s liking, and the emergence of Cedric could see the manager get a stiff competition at the right side of defence.

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Considering there is a three-year age difference between the pair, you expect the Portugal international to have more experience over the former Barcelona youth product.

Cedric also boast of set-piece abilities to his personality, something Arsenal have been lacking for some years now with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos all running such errands.

He could potentially be an option to consider for the manager and for the team as a whole. His defensive abilities also stand tall compared to Bellerin.

The 28-year-old averages 2.8 tackles per games in the Premier League this season compared to the 25-year-old’s 1.5 per game.

It will be a worthy competition to see whose profile fits the tactics of Arsenal under Arteta, but for now Bellerin will jump into the front with Cedric playing the catch up role.

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