Cedric Soares was sporting a black eye on the day of Arsenal’s friendly against Brentford, explaining his recent absence from match action.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 10: Cedric Soares, Shkodran Mustafi, Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal take a knee in support of Black Lives Matter before the friendly match between Arsenal and Brentford at Emirates Stadium on June 10, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Soares, Mustafi, Tierney and Martinelli take a knee for Black Lives Matter on June 10, 2020. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal played their second friendly of the build-up to the Premier League’s return on Wednesday, but fans once again noted Cedric Soares’ absence from the match action.

Hector Bellerin started against both Charlton and Brentford, with Sokratis Papastathopoulos replacing him from the bench on each occasion. Ainsley Maitland-Niles played in midfield, but loan signing Cedric didn’t feature at all.

It turns out the right-back has a black eye, as you can see in the photo above. This explains why he was wearing a mask in recent training sessions.

The good news is that this seemingly suggests Cedric isn’t still suffering from his knee problem. He’s back running around and kicking the ball, as usual, it’s just the eye issue keeping him out. That shouldn’t be a long-term concern.

Ideally, he’ll return in the next week or so and Arsenal can stop using Sokratis there. Bellerin should make the starting lineup in the meantime anyway.