Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has questioned why the Gunners decided to bring in Cedric Soares from Southampton on deadline day.
The 28-year-old joined on a six-month loan before the transfer window shut on Friday, but Merson feels that the lack of competition they had for the Portuguese international demonstrates that the London club are struggling to attract quality players:
“They are going for players that no-one else is really after. It wasn’t like they were in a bidding war. The lad from Southampton, I didn’t even know he was available and if there was anyone else after him.”
Soares is currently out with a knee injury and so he won’t be making his debut against Burnley this afternoon, but head coach Mikel Arteta has explained the thinking behind bringing in the right-back:
“He is a player who has big experience, he’s played in this country and in different leagues. He knows what it means. He has been very willing to go to another top club. He has that desire and that commitment. I followed him a few seasons ago and I really like what he can bring and it was the right conditions for us as well to try and improve the squad.”
With Calum Chambers out for the season with a knee injury and Hector Bellerin the only other option in the squad to fill in on the right-hand side, a short term deal for Cedric does make sense.
Arsenal have made no commitment to sign the player in the summer, but if he does impress, they can snap him up on a free transfer with the fullback’s contract at the Saints expiring in June.