Premier League • England

First Arsenal summer exit revealed by Fabrizio Romano, as final decision made on ‘top professional’

Cedric Soares and Eddie Nketiah, Arsenal

Cedric Soares is poised to leave Arsenal

Arsenal have made their first brutal decision ahead of the transfer window reopening, with defender Cedric Soares poised to leave at the end of his contract.

Following spells at Sporting CP, Southampton and Inter Milan, Cedric joined Arsenal on an initial loan in January 2020. The move became permanent that summer, following the expiry of the full-back’s Southampton deal.

Overall, Cedric has played 64 times for Arsenal, chipping in with two goals and five assists.

The right-back, who can also operate on the other side of defence, has fallen down the pecking order at Arsenal amid their rise under Mikel Arteta.

With Arteta preferring to use either Ben White or Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back, Cedric went out on loan to Fulham in the second half of last season.

But the Portuguese struggled to force his way into the Fulham starting eleven either and only made eight appearances for the Cottagers.

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Cedric has had to settle for a place on the bench for a majority of the current campaign. He has only featured three times in the Premier League and on five occasions across all competitions.

Cedric was expected to leave Arsenal in the winter window, though a switch to either Portugal or Turkey fell through. On February 5, it was claimed that Benfica failed to snare the 32-year-old as he refused to drop his wage demands.

Player to leave Arsenal after four years

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Fabrizio Romano has provided his take on Cedric’s future. The journalist states that Cedric is certain to leave Arsenal when his terms expire on June 30, making him the Gunners’ first casualty of the summer window.

A final decision has been made by Arteta and sporting director Edu, who do not think it is worth having Cedric’s £70,000-a-week wages on Arsenal’s books.

As Cedric is a ‘top professional’, he will remain ‘fully committed’ to Arsenal until he leaves this summer. He could play a minor role as Arsenal hunt Premier League and Champions League glory.

Romano adds that ‘many’ clubs in Europe view Cedric as a ‘top option’ due to his experience and the fact he will not cost anything in transfer fees. Although, the main clubs pushing to sign him have not yet been revealed.

Cedric is far from being the only player set to leave Arsenal in the summer. Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey, Aaron Ramsdale, Eddie Nketiah and Emile Smith Rowe could all be sold to raise funds, too.

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