Cedric Soares An Appreciation
Wednesday, 5th Feb 2020 08:38
When Cedric Soares, usually known just by his first name arrived at Southampton in the summer of 2015, little did he know what a roller coaster 4 1/2 years would be ahead of him.
When the 23 year old Cedric arrived at St Mary's to replace Nathaniel Clyne yet another who took the now well trodden route to Merseyside little did he know that the next 4 1/2 years would hold s series of high's and lows, and indeed the rollercoaster he is on appears to have no intention of stopping yet.
Looking back at his £5 million transfer fee it is surprising to see just how little experience he had for a player who would turn 24 just after the season started, he had started just 64 League games for Sporting Lisbon and had just broken into the Portugese full squad.
Saints made an iffy start to what would become their best ever season since the start of the Premier League, but Cedric looked a good buy and was a virtual ever present in the team right up to March, but after Saints were beaten 2-0 at Bournemouth on the first day of that month, he found himself ostracised by Ronald Koeman and in the 10 remaining games he found himself on the bench most weeks and Cuco Martina replacing him, he would only return for 2 of these remaining games, a 1-0 defeat at Eventual Champions Leicester and a 4-2 win at soon to be relegated Aston Villa.
But of this was a low point for Cedric with his career seemingly in the doldrums and no future at St Mary's suddenly there was a big swing, firstly Koeman left in controversial circumstances to Everton and then after initially being on the bench for Portugal in Euro 2016 he forced his way into the side and played for Portugal in the Final and earned a winners medal against France.
So his career was back on track and he returned to St Mary's without the attitude problem Jose Fonte had developed and played two consistent seasons as first choice right back and like Yoshida putting his name in the record books as one of those few Saints players to have played for the club in a Wembley Cup final or indeed any major cup final.
He also scored his first goal for the club in an FA Cup quarter final win against Wigan.
Only a day or so before the arrival of Ralph Hasenhuttl he scored his only Premier League goal for the club a blockbuster against Man Utd at St Mary's in December 2018, but if he thought his career at Saints was about to stay high he was wrong, Ralph Hasenhuttl soon made it clear he preferred Yan Valery at right back and Cedric was off to Inter Milan on loan with seemingly an option to buy.
The Italian club though had no intention of buying, they wanted him just as back up and he would play just 4 times in Serie A plus a handful of cup games.
Last summer it looked like he would be on his way, but strange thigs were happening and early in the season Yan Valery fell out of favour with even now no one really knowing why and Cedric was back in.
But his return would last just 16 matches when he picked up a knee injury in the win at Crystal Palace, but the twist to his knee would also see yet another twist in his career with Arsenal coming in and taking him on loan despite the injury.
The deal is said to be worth £5 million to Saints all things being totalled up including wages etc and it is yet to be seen whether he will sign for the Gunners permanently in the summer.
So it has been a topsy turvy time for Cedric at Saints as was his reputation with Saints supporters with some not rating him at all, personally I think he had a good pedigree and although like all players he would have a bad game from time to time, he was usually consistent and his attacking play was his strongest point.
In his time here he played in the Premier League 117 (3) times scoring just the once, ironically a total not far off that of his fellow leaver Yoshida.
Again I wish him the best of luck at the Emirates and hope that still aged only 28 he has a few good seasons in front of him.
Photo: Action Images
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