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Arsenal: Mikel Arteta handed Cedric Soares injury boost

Arsenal have been handed an injury boost ahead of their Europa League meeting with Bodo/Glimt on Thursday evening.

What’s the latest?

That’s according to James McNicholas, with the journalist revealing in a recent article for The Athletic that, after picking up a minor knock before the game against FC Zurich last month, Cedric Soares has now fully recovered from this issue, with the right-back expected to be included in Mikel Arteta’s squad to face their Norwegian opponents in two days’ time.

McNicholas goes on to state that the 31-year-old is desperate to get some first-team minutes under his belt on Thursday in order to give himself a chance of securing a regular starting spot for the 40-year-old manager, with the defender having been an unused substitute in four Premier League fixtures before his latest injury setback.

Good news for Arsenal

While it is true that Cedric is not exactly a guaranteed starter under Arteta, the right-back’s return from injury will nevertheless come as a boost to the Spaniard ahead of Thursday evening – especially with a hectic Premier League schedule ahead of the Gunners in October and November.

Indeed, with 13 fixtures coming up between now and the break for the Qatar World Cup, rotation of his squad will be key for Arteta in order to keep Arsenal in the title race come the turn of the year.

And, with Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu having all been a regular part of the Gunners’ backline so far this season – featuring in nine, eight, eight and eight of Arsenal’s nine fixtures in all competitions respectively this term – the Bodo/Glimt fixture would very much appear to be an ideal opportunity for Arteta to rotate his defence.

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Furthermore, despite slipping down the pecking order at The Emirates towards the back end of last season, the £5.4m-rated full-back nevertheless impressed over his 21 league outings last term, scoring one goal, providing one assist and creating two big chances, as well as making an average of 1.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 0.9 key passes and winning 3.0 duels per game.

These metrics saw the £75k-per-week Portugal international average a SofaScore match rating of 6.86, ranking him as the Gunners’ joint 15th-best player in the top flight last time out.

As such, with the tricky visit of Liverpool up next for Arsenal in the league, Cedric’s return from injury is undoubtedly good news for Arteta, as the 31-year-old’s availability will now allow the Spaniard to give a much-needed rest to one of his defensive stalwarts on Thursday night.

Article title: Arsenal: Mikel Arteta handed Cedric Soares injury boost

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