Arsenal right-back Cedric Soares is attracting interest ahead of the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by football.london, who claim that the 31-year-old is a target for Fulham, Villarreal and Bayer Leverkusen this winter, all three of whom were also believed to be keen on a move for the defender in the summer.
However, with the Portugal international having hardly featured for Mikel Arteta’s side in the current campaign, the interested trio are believed to have reached out to the full-back’s agent regarding the possibility of a January exit from The Emirates.
While it is true that Arteta views Cedric as a valuable member of his first-team squad – with the Spaniard claiming that the right-back is a “player who deserves to play” last month – considering just how little the 31-year-old has featured this season, coupled with his hefty weekly salary, the argument that Edu should cash in on the defender this winter is an easy one to make.
Indeed, despite the fact that a series of recurring injuries have limited the £75k-per-week full-back’s availability in 2022/23, it is undeniable that the 31-year-old’s 119 minutes of first-team football – made up of 27 in the Premier League, two in the Europa League and 90 in the Carabao Cup – does not represent good value for money for the Gunners.
And, with Ben White having highly impressed when filling in at right-back so far this season, as well as Takehiro Tomiyasu being ahead of the £4.4m-rated defender in Arteta’s pecking order, it would appear as if Cedric’s chances of picking up more first-team minutes at The Emirates upon the turn of the year look extremely slim.
Furthermore, with the north London side also having the likes of 18-year-old Brooke Norton-Cuffy – who is catching the eye on loan at Rotherham United – and 17-year-old Reuell Walters coming through at right-back, both youngsters would also benefit from the 34-cap international’s departure, as his exit would mean one less blockage in the route to the first team.
As such, with it looking likely that the 31-year-old – who Japheth Mutinda dubbed “shocking” and Amara Nwankpa claimed “is just not good enough” – would receive more game time at any of Fulham, Villarreal and Bayer Leverkusen, a departure would very much appear to be one that would suit all parties – leading us to believe that Edu simply must bin the full-back this winter.