This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Blackburn and Celtic striker Chris Sutton has spoken to BBC 5 Live Sport about what he thinks about the situation surrounding Cedric Soares at Southampton.
The 33-cap Portugal international recently gave an interview to The Telegraph in which he outlined his intentions to leave St Mary’s at the end of the current campaign.
Given the current circumstances at the club, the former Sporting Lisbon man couldn’t have got the timing of his comments any worse.
The 46-year-old said: “You’ve got to question some of the players. If I was a Southampton fan I’d be furious if he came out publicly and said that. Of course he’s well within his rights to say and do what he likes, but isn’t that a bit brainless?
“These players don’t help themselves – is he undermining the manager? I’d say he is, absolutely. What chance has Hasenhuttl got if he’s got one of his current squad saying ‘I want to better myself at the end of the season’? If you want to better yourself Cedric, start playing well and someone might come in for you! I don’t think it’s helpful to Hasenhuttl that players are coming out and saying this stuff – I think it’s horrific.”
The 28-year-old must think he’s God’s gift.
Cedric has shown nothing to suggest that he can play at a significantly higher level than Premier League football with Southampton, and he would be best suited to knuckling down, keeping his mouth shut and focusing on his club form.
Aside from some decent stuff played under Ronald Koeman, the Portuguese full-back has been largely underwhelming, a sentiment echoed by the club’s defensive record both this season and last.
So far this term, the Saints have shipped the most goals in the division with 29 concessions, whereas Cedric played a part in Southampton shipping 65 goals – the sixth-most in the 2018/19 Premier League season.
Also, for a player somewhat renowned as a diminutive, modern-day full-back with an attacking mentality, Cedric has only ever recorded ten assists in 125 appearances for Southampton.
The full-back flopped whilst on loan with Inter Milan last season, making just three Serie A starts before the Italian giants decided not to activate their £9.5m option to buy – if anything, that was Cedric’s chance to prove himself at a higher level, and he showed himself to be incapable of doing so.
In a relegation battle, you need a certain type of character to pull a club from the mud and Cedric is looking like the exact opposite of what Southampton need right now.
He is coming across as a selfish figure, a mercenary, a man who is only thinking about himself and his own future when the Saints’ Premier League status is at threat.
It goes without saying that Sutton has hit the nail on the head with his views on the situation.