Cedric Soares’ move to Arsenal has turned sour quicker than most of us may have expected.
The club signed him on a permanent deal just a year ago and he would have expected to become one of Arsenal’s shining stars under Mikel Arteta.
His versatility also means the Gunners could field him as a left-back, which clearly hands him an advantage in the squad.
However, Arteta added natural full-backs to both the left and right flanks at Arsenal this summer.
Nuno Tavares and Takehiro Tomiyasu have been in impressive form at the Emirates so far.
Their quality has naturally placed them ahead of Soares in the pecking order, but the former Southampton man insists he is ready to fight to win a place back in the team.
Asked if he had spoken to Arteta about his lack of playing time, he told ESPN:
“We haven’t had this chat yet this season.
“But there are some things you don’t need to talk about. With age, you learn how to understand things.
“Last year, I fought a lot to come in the team. Not just one training, two training sessions. No, I was every week — and you can ask the manager as well — very consistent. He knows, and that’s why I ended up winning a space in the team. This season we haven’t qualified for European football, which is frustrating because we have a big squad, everyone wants to play and this affects me as well.
“I’m there fighting. Every week, every day, I will be there knocking [on the door], making him a problem — in a good way — that he needs to think who to put on the pitch. Of course, it is his decision. I respect that and he knows that. But I will not make it easier. Never. This is how I grow up in my career: fight and win. And also [the Portugal] national team, it wasn’t straightforward to play but I ended up winning my space. It is like this.
“Some players just have it a little bit easier. With me, I know I always had to fight a little bit extra to get it and in the end I was there.”
Just Arsenal Opinion
There is hardly much difference between Soares and the likes of Willian and Pablo Mari.
These players joined Arsenal at a time when Arteta still didn’t have the best expertise in signing players.
It’s hard to expect a player who couldn’t get into the Southampton starting XI to deliver at the Emirates.
One delightful thing is that Arteta has learnt his lessons and the players he has been signing for the Gunners recently have all made sense and are delivering on the pitch for the club.