Arsenal star’s form prompts Arteta transfer U-turn

Will Ford
Mikel Arteta Arsenal
Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has reportedly changed his transfer plans after the impressive performances of Cedric Soares in pre-season.

Arteta was said to be keen on adding a right-back to his squad this summer but now feels confident that he can turn his attention to other areas of weakness.

Fellow right-back Hector Bellerin could be heading for the Emirates exit after informing Arteta of his desire to leave the club amid interest from the likes of Real Betis and Inter Milan.

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Bellerin, Cedric and Calum Chambers all played on the right side under Arteta last season, but Cedric’s pre-season form is said to not only have put him clear of his competitors at Arsenal but also put them off looking for further options.

Brighton’s Tariq Lamptey and Norwich’s Max Aarons have both been linked with the club, but with Arsenal close to securing the £50million signing of Ben White – who can play at right-back as well as centre-back – Arteta is reportedly content with his options, even if Bellerin leaves.

Cedric joined Arsenal last summer from Southampton having spent the second half of the 2019-20 season on loan at the club.

He started eight games last term and made a total of 24 appearances, occasionally playing at left-back in place of the injured Kieran Tierney.

Arsenal are also being linked with a £30million move for Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to provide competition for Bernd Leno.

And Arteta has already added to his squad with the signings of Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica and Belgian midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht.

Following the 2-2 friendly draw with Rangers, Arteta said of new signing Tavares: “Great debut, (scoring) with his right foot as well.”

“He has only been with us a few days but you can already see his qualities, his physicality and the quality he has on the ball as well.

“He is integrating with the lads really well, so it is a good start.”

Tavares, who was replaced at half-time, said: “I feel very happy with my first goal for Arsenal. I was so excited for this and today I did it.

“I felt good. It was a good game for me and for us. A good test. I think we had a good match and we learned a lot.”