Cedric Soares was close to joining Arsenal a year earlier than he did, before his loan to Inter Milan last January, according to the player himself.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Cedric Soares of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on July 01, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the fourth goal on July 01, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Cedric Soares joined Arsenal in the January transfer window, though it took a while for him to make his debut. Just as he was recovering from his knee injury, football shut down completely. Then, right as it returned, he picked up a nasal fracture in training.

The defender says he actually could have made his debut over a year earlier, almost joining Arsenal in 2019. The Gunners wanted another full-back given Stephan Lichtsteiner’s poor form and Hector Bellerin’s injury.

“Last year, there was the possibility to come in January,” Cedric said. “It didn’t happen and I ended up going to Italy, but it was very clear this year that I could join in January and it was a very easy decision for me.

“I had another option for a move, but there was never any doubt when Arsenal appeared. It’s something I really wanted.”

Arsenal have a couple of huge games this week. They face Premier League champions Liverpool before taking on FA Cup holders Manchester City in a semi-final. Cedric will surely play a part in the matches, and you can check out the online football betting here ahead of the key fixtures.

It’s good to have an experienced alternative to Bellerin for these kinds of games. As well as Ainsley Maitland-Niles did when called upon, he clearly prefers to play infield. By comparison, Cedric is a right-back through and through.

A debut goal helped silence some of the doubters about the signing, but there’s a long way to go on his four-year deal. A start and a good result in at least one of the games this week would represent another positive step.