Despite previously being considered one of Southampton’s best and most reliable players, right-back Cedric Soares certainly hasn’t been the same player over the course of the past 12-18 months.
The Portugal international – who played a big part in their Euro 2016 success – was once a key part of the side from an attacking point of view in addition to his defensive duties, and his pace was highly useful for both of those things.
However, as the south coast outfit have struggled – both last season and so far this term – so has the 27-year-old and he has come under criticism from his own fans on Twitter for his displays.
The full-back has often been targeted by other teams because of his lack of height, while he has been more prone to errors and struggled to make an impact in the final third because of his poor crossing – there is little doubt that Southampton are more of a threat down the left-hand side than the right.
However, with a lack of competition for Cedric he has played all-but 34 minutes of their Premier League campaign to date, and he was once again named in the starting XI for the short trip to Bournemouth on Saturday.
He looked set to be in for a tough afternoon against the in-form Ryan Fraser, but as well as nullifying the threat of the Scot he also excelled in other areas as well.
The 27-year-old won one tackle, as well as making four interceptions and five clearances as the team kept a much-needed clean sheet, while he showed a big improvement on those of his main weaknesses by winning two aerial duels and completing two accurate crosses, as per WhoScored.
It was certainly an impressive showing by the Portuguese man, and if he continues to play like he did at the Vitality Stadium he will soon win back the full support of the St Mary’s faithful.