Premier League • England

Forgotten Arsenal man gets tempting transfer opportunity with league champions

Bernd Leno and Cedric Soares react to red card

Cedric Soares could be presented with an escape route from Arsenal as a consequence of a rival Premier League transfer, according to reports.

Cedric Soares has become something of a forgotten man at Arsenal this season. Following the signing of Takehiro Tomiyasu, it has been hard for him to get gametime at right-back. Indeed, the Portugal international has started just two Premier League games.

A further three starts have arrived in the Carabao Cup, plus two substitute appearances in the top flight. But after only playing 10 times in the league last season, his lack of minutes should be a concern.

Cedric is still under contract with Arsenal until 2024, but they may have to make an earlier decision about his future. According to talkSPORT, he has emerged as a target for Atletico Madrid.

The La Liga champions have just sold Kieran Trippier to Newcastle United. Prior to the transfer happening, there were claims they would only sanction it if they had a replacement lined up.

Now, Atleti have until the end of the month to find a new full-back. Cedric might be their man.

The report claims the side from the Spanish capital want to take Soares on loan until the end of the season. They would then explore a permanent transfer in the summer should all go to plan.

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It is not yet clear whether Arsenal would agree to the deal. They are losing another right-back option in Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Roma this month.

But when explaining that transfer decision, manager Mikel Arteta said he could not use their lack of squad depth as an excuse to keep unsettled players. Therefore, if Cedric wants more gametime, he could be hopeful of getting an exit.

Besides, Arsenal also have Calum Chambers who can provide cover for Tomiyasu. And on the opposite side of defence, where Cedric can also play, they have Kieran Tierney and Nuno Tavares. Hence, they should still have enough cover if he calls time on his Arsenal adventure.

Cedric Soares playing for Arsenal

Cedric Soares signed for Arsenal from Southampton in 2020. Since then, he has made a total of 36 appearances for the club.

He may not be making many more, though, if Atleti can secure his signature. It would be the first time he played in La Liga.

Arsenal told signing can make them title contenders

While trimming their squad, Arsenal will also need to focus on potential signings to bring in. Priority areas to reinforce will be in midfield and up front.

In the latter department, they are targeting Fiorentina frontman Dusan Vlahovic. In fact, they have reportedly submitted an offer already worth up to €70m.

It would be an exciting signing for Arsenal – to the extent that former ace Paul Merson thinks they could become title challengers in the long-term with him in the lead.

Merson told the Daily Star: “They should be breaking the bank to get Dusan Vlahovic in from Fiorentina in the summer – because he would make them title contenders.

“I’ve heard Arsenal doesn’t interest him right now and I can understand that. But he might change his mind if they finish in the top four and offer him a lorryload of money.

“Arsenal [could] play him every week because Aubameyang will be gone. Lacazette will probably be gone. And so will Eddie Nketiah.

“They will need a goalscorer, and Vlahovic scores goals. He’s also still young so he should get better and you’t not wasting money paying a 29-year-old on the way down.”

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