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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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underweststand added 09:15 - Feb 5
If the "appreciation post" is to become a regular issue on TUI then we can look forward to hearing more fan opinions in future, but I doubt if some of those in line to leave in the near future will get as much praise as Yoshida and Cedric have had already.
Once again you covered most points quite well (Nick) and indeed after Cedric came a lot of fans were asking WHO we had bought. In time his game settled down and he looked at his best during the time he played alongside Jose Fonte (for obvious reasons) they were both part of the successful Portuguese side of that era.
Also - as you highlighted - Cedric fell foul of the Koeman brothers preference for Martina at RB - although most people will only recall Martina as winner of best goal that season.

Like some others Cedric's career was hit after the rapid change of managers and he found it hard to nail down a permanent spot, and the sudden introduction of Yan Valery made his struggle for game time even more difficult. The downsides to his game revolved around his lack of height and on several occasions was outjumped at corners allowing taller strikers to score against us. IMHO - he did as well as he could, and that was often good enough, but he was neither "top class" as a defender, or in the role of wing-back.

However, my assessment is that he DAJFU quite well on many occasions, and I would be happy to give his overall career assessment... " a good 7 ".
His interview after joining Arsenal revealed that he had been the subject of the Gunners' interest some years ago, and perhaps Arteta will make something of his new signing and Cedric may fit in better there than he did with Saints, and I wish him well in the future.

Saint4Life247 added 09:48 - Feb 5
Good player overall and like many I wish him well on the new chapter of his life. I'm not sure if we ever played him further up the pitch as a winger but I always thought he would have done well there. With his defensive understanding he could have formed a decent partnership another RB (covering each other etc) ...but that's by the by now.

Good luck Cedric, thank you for your time with us... Scoring against Pompey was a real highlight

SaintPaulVW added 09:54 - Feb 5
Like Yoshi a good player with a great attitude. Thought he was better at the 'wing' rather than the 'back' bit of his job.

He has been in great form recently. Possibly the most consistent since he has been here. I just hope we haven't shot ourselves in the foot by letting him go early. Given the loan fee and Leap's wages, I can't imagine we are upmuch on the deal. It seems certain that he wasn't going to agree a new deal so he would have been off at the end of the season anyway. I can't really blame the bloke for being after a final big payday with football being such a short career.

Another player who I would welcome back at St Mary's and I wish him well in his future career(except when he is playing us).

Cjay80 added 16:43 - Feb 5
Can someone please help me. I don't know what DAJFU means and it's used quite a lot here.
Oh, an I liked Cedric, height issue not really his fault and did leave us exposed on crosses but generally a good guy who tried hard and did well. In my opinion.

Boris1977 added 17:52 - Feb 5
I've been asking the same question lately cjay80, but now assume it means 'did a job for us.' Most things ending in FU are usually obscene and initially my sewer brain thought it might be an insult.

I liked the theory of Cedric more than the practice but I was a fan. I think the board are incredibly short sighted in cashing in on a player of his calibre (the money saved/made is peanuts in the modern era especially as each place higher up in the league is worth a few million more than the one below) but not surprised the decision was made.

Good luck Cedric and thanks.


aceofthebase added 18:10 - Feb 5
Done a job for us or something similar Cjay80

Always too small , always looked sheepish when outjumped at the far post.

Now he is a shortarsenal player.

ah well goood luck Cedric

LoisDeem added 15:10 - Feb 6
We are still having a problem winning games without Cedric.
He has gone at what cost? With hind or even fore sight, might we have been able to deal with Arsenal and keep him (till the end of the season) or even offer him a deal that more clearly reflects his value to (the balance of) the team?
We are now out of the Cup without our most influential /versatile playing 'machine' -so smacks of money grubbing, false economy own goals to this supporter.
The mercenary manoeuvring of his leaving seems a bit one -way and leaves me short for praise or appreciation, I will reserve that for those more deserving, like the rapidly diminishing senior squad and the more dignified service and exit by Maya Yoshida.

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