Arsenal have signed Southampton full-back Cedric Soares on loan until the end of the season, with the Portuguese star becoming the club’s second new addition. The 28-year-old joins Flamengo center-back Pablo Mari as the club’s January additions with them reportedly not looking at any more additions.
Soares’ current contract with Southampton expires at the end of the season and has been looking for an exit, with him reportedly not in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans this season. Instead, the Austrian has opted to use Kevin Danso and Yan Valery as right wing-backs which has allowed Arsenal to sign the 28-year-old on loan until the end of the season.
The North Londoners have also included an option that could see them hand Soares a four-year contract in the summer although that is only upon certain performance targets. The 28-year-old will add cover to a problematic position for the Gunners with Hector Bellerin struggling for fitness and no like for like replacement for the Spaniard.
Calum Chambers was used before his ACL tear has ruled him out for at least nine months and that has seen Ainsley-Maitland Niles play as a makeshift right-back which has caused a few problems for the club. Reports further indicate that Arsenal will pay the Saints a loan fee of just under £1 million for Cedric Soares which will cover his wages and any bonuses that the Saints owe him.
"It's a dream come true being here, and being able to play for Arsenal is unreal. Arsenal is a top team. They are a very, very good club, with fantastic fans as well. They are known to be so well supported and for me, it's a pleasure to be here. Like I said, it's a dream come true because I always thought about coming here and imagined it, and seeing it happen is really amazing,” Soares told Arsenal.com.
"It has been a while, to be fair. We were close a few years ago, so it's not the first time. It didn't happen that time but now thank God it came true. I'm super happy. Obviously it was important for me in my career to come here. Southampton gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League but obviously it's amazing this step, to come here and play for Arsenal. To be able to reach this point is unbelievable," he added.
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