Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has hinted that Cedric Soares could make his debut for the Gunners against Manchester City.
Arsenal take on Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday and ahead of the clash Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has suggested that Cedric Soares could make his debut in the match. Soares joined Arsenal from Southampton in January, on a loan deal until the end of the season, but some at the club have questioned the decision as the player was injured at the time.
The 28-year-old is out of contract in the summer, but Arsenal still paid a reported £5million for the right-back.
However, Gunners fans could finally get a chance to see him make his debut for club, after Arteta suggested he could feature against City tomorrow.
When Arteta was asked if Soares and Shkodran Mustafi are in the frame to play against Pep Guardiola’s men, he said: “I think they will be available to play.
“Hopefully everyone will be able to train tomorrow and we’ll pick the best players we can.”
Soares has been on the sidelines since he suffered knee ligament damage when playing against Crystal Palace on January 21.
But the experienced right-back, who has 33 caps for Portugal, will be a welcomed addition to Arteta as he is dealing with an injury crisis at the club.
The Spaniard is currently without defender Calum Chambers for the rest of the season, after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Left-back Sead Kolasinac has strained his right shoulder and isn’t expected to begin full training until the end of March.
The Gunners other left-back, Kieran Tierney, has recovered from his dislocated shoulder but isn’t expected back in the starting XI as he has only had a few training sessions.
Arteta is also without Lucas Torreira after the Uruguayan suffered a fracture to his right ankle and is expected to be on the sidelines for around eight to ten weeks.
As a result, Arteta has found himself playing Bukayo Saka as a makeshift left-back and often relying on centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos to play out of position at right-back.
However, the Greece international could now be utilised in his usual central position if Arteta decides to play Soares against his former club.
Arteta only left his position as Guardiola’s assistant in December and while he thinks it is going to be a “very special night” he is hoping to use his insider knowledge to help give his team an advantage on Wednesday.
“It gives me a very clear idea of what they are trying to do,” the Arsenal manager said.
“But it’s something different to be able to stop that and as well create the issues that I think we can create for them.
“That has to happen on the day, when they are at their best, we know what they are capable of doing, the variation they have.
“At the end of the day, it’s about the players on the pitch and their performance.”