Cedric Soares admits it’s a ‘different experience’ for him playing at left-back recently, but he has to adapt and fight for a spot in the team.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND: Cedric Soares of Arsenal is challenged by Kyle Walker-Peters of Southampton during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Southampton FC and Arsenal FC on January 23, 2021. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Benfica on Thursday, Mikel Arteta broke the good news that Kieran Tierney is back with the squad after his recent injury problems. We don’t know if he’s ready to start yet, but he’s clearly getting closer.

In Tierney’s recent absence, Cedric Soares has had to fill in at left-back. His preferred position is right-back, but he’s played on the left at times in the past, and that was always reportedly part of the reason Arsenal wanted to sign him – as a backup on both sides.

Speaking ahead of the Benfica game, Cedric insisted he’s willing to do a job on the left when called upon.

“It’s quite a different experience,” Cedric admitted. “I did it before, I played there for Southampton (for) a few games and in Inter.

“It’s a little bit different to playing on the right but we have to have this capacity of adapting and if coach needs us there, we need to be prepared.

“This is what I try to do, to be ready for it, prepared, to adapt my qualities at this position to help the team achieve the best result that we can get.”

With Tierney returning, Cedric may well be needed on the left a fair bit less in the coming weeks. But perhaps that opens up the opportunity for starts on the right, and the 29-year-old says he’s up for challenging Hector Bellerin.

“I wouldn’t believe I couldn’t play, (if I did) I wouldn’t be a footballer,” Cedric continued.

“I came to Arsenal to help with things like this. I’m always available to play any position coach needs me to, so I will be ready to fight for any position coach believes I can help the team.”

As long as Arsenal continue to progress in the Europa League, their schedule will be busy. With so few senior backup full-backs on either side, there’s no doubt Cedric will play a big part in the rest of the season, whether he’s the first choice or not.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.