Arsenal have confirmed the loan signing of Cedric Soares from Southampton.
The Portugal international becomes the second new arrival this week after Pablo Mari’s transfer from Flamengo was announced on Wednesday.
Mikel Arteta has been keen to bolster his depleted defence in January and the experienced Cedirc, who has made 117 Premier League appearances for the Saints, will provide cover for Hector Bellerin.
The Spaniard is still easing his way back to full fitness after a serious knee injury which was followed by a hamstring strain which ruled him out for six weeks.
Ainsley Maitlaind-Niles has deputised at full-back but he is desperate to prove his credentials in his favourite midfield position, while Cedric’s ability to play at left-back also represents a welcome boost for Arteta who has had to rely on Bukayo Saka, nominally a winger, in the absences of Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney.
In his first interview as an Arsenal player, meanwhile, Cedric revealed he cannot wait to get started at his new club having been close to joining the Gunners when Arsene Wenger was still in charge.
‘It has been a while, to be fair,’ he told Arsenal Player. ‘We were close a few years ago, so it’s not the first time. It didn’t happen that time but now thank God it came true. I’m super happy.
‘Obviously it was important for me in my career to come here. Southampton gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League but obviously it’s amazing this step, to come here and play for Arsenal.
‘To be able to reach this point is unbelievable. I will give all my best every day and every game.
‘I try to be a guy with energy, a player that goes up and down. I like to consider myself a team player and yes, what can I say? It’s difficult when you need to talk about yourself! But again, I will give my 100 per cent for the team and for the fans.’