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‘Cedric a good fit for Arsenal & won’t block Bellerin’ – Keown pleased with Arteta’s latest addition

13:47 WAT 31/01/2020
Cedric Soares Southampton 2019-20
The former Gunners defender believes the experienced Portugal international full-back will add important squad depth at Emirates Stadium

Cedric Soares could prove to be a shrewd piece of transfer business for Arsenal, says Martin Keown.

The Gunners have moved to take the Portugal international full-back on a short-term loan from Premier League rivals Southampton.

With the 28-year-old due to become a free agent in the summer, it could be that his time at Emirates Stadium is extended.

The option is there for Arsenal to agree a four-year contract with a man who arrived in English football back in 2015.

Keown expects Cedric to stake a serious claim for permanent terms, with the Euro 2016 winner offering useful depth to Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The former Gunners defender told talkSPORT of the latest arrival in north London: “I think he’s a good player. [Yan] Valery has come in, the youngster, there at Southampton. They look as though they are out of trouble so they want to make something happen.

“You have got [Hector] Bellerin, who is just coming to form, so he might not play long-term – and [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles – but I do feel he’s a good player.

“He’s a current holder with Portugal of the Euros and I think he has got enough to offer with Arsenal.”

Keown also feels that the arrival of Cedric is a nod towards Bellerin remaining the long-term option for Arsenal at right-back.

The Spaniard has found himself at the centre of transfer talk in the past, but Arteta is considered to have dipped into the market for a back-up solution.

Keown added on Bellerin: “It doesn’t block his path because he will know long-term, both Maitland-Niles and himself are the future.

“But they have had injury issues in that area and [Cedric] is that sort of player, he plays very well out from the back, and it might be something [Arteta] is looking at – competition for places.

“I think that’s a good addition.”

Arsenal have struggled with leaks at the back again this season, contributing to Arteta picking up a managerial baton put down by fellow countryman Unai Emery and Pablo Mari being brought in from Flamengo to bolster the centre-half ranks.

The Gunners sit 10th in the Premier League table at present, 10 points adrift of the top four, and will be back in action on Sunday when they take in a trip to Burnley.