Cedric Soares was hospitalised this week with a stomach bug, ahead of Arsenal’s elimination from the Europa League by Villarreal.
When Mikel Arteta named his matchday squad to face Villarreal on Thursday night, the only real options at left-back were Granit Xhaka and Kieran Tierney. When Xhaka picked up an injury in the warm-up, that left Tierney to start his first game back.
Usually, Cedric Soares would have been an option at left-back, and he did make the squad. But in another unfortunate turn of events, Cedric had been hospitalised in the build-up to the game.
“We had Cedric in hospital 24 hours ago and when Granit got injured, [Tierney] was the only option that we had,” Arteta revealed, before adding on Cedric: “Yeah, he’s fine now.”
Chris Wheatley has since tweeted that the right-back had a stomach bug. He recovered and trained and could have played against Villarreal, if necessary. Arteta clearly just decided not to take the risk.
Mikel Arteta says Cedric Soares was in hospital 24 hours ago.
I’m told that the Portuguese had a stomach bug, recovered, trained and could have played today. #AFC
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) May 6, 2021
Instead, Tierney completed the first 80 minutes of the game, coming off for Willian as Arsenal made one final attempt to score a goal.
From the sounds of things, there shouldn’t be any issue with Cedric starting at the weekend. With Tierney just back from injury and the uncertainty around Xhaka, that might be the best option.