Is Cedric Soares an upgrade to Ainsley Maitland-Niles?

Cedric Soares joined Arsenal in January as Mikel Arteta looked to cover for his injured defenders.

Intriguingly, the Portugal international joined the Gunners injured when they had been trying to solve a problem that injuries created.

He is expected to be fit within the next couple of days and I wonder if he would be better than our other full-backs.

In the absence of Hector Bellerin, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been our go-to player to fill in at right-back.

Maitland-Niles is not a natural fullback, but the England man has done a good job whenever he has been called to do so.

I enjoyed watching Soares at Euro 2016 and in some of his games for Southampton, but I’d stick to Maitland-Niles if I were Arteta, here’s why:

Maitland-Niles has been in the Arsenal system for a while and he has understood what it means to play for the Gunners.

Soares is just jumping at the opportunity to become as Arsenal player and I reckon that he will struggle for consistency before the season runs out.

Maitland-Niles isn’t the best when it comes to attacking his opposition, but he can make a tackle and can make others behind him confident that he can cover his side of the defence.

Soares is a better crosser of the ball and a better attacking midfielder, but he has struggled to impress at the Saints recently, what is the guarantee that he would do any better for Arsenal?

I hope that Soares has a good Arsenal career and I believe that he can make Bellerin better by pushing him for the first-team spot, but I’d rather have Maitland- Niles ahead of him in the Arsenal starting XI.

An article by Jacob B


      1. The signing of soares was just fine he can play a variety of positions just like AMN. What it will allow is for AMN and Saka to move further forward where they are more comfortable.

        Simirlarly now we have Mari, Luiz can cover the DM role if required as we now have a technically gifted centre back in the back 4. Whilst he lacks pace, his concentration, tackling timing and passing are top drawer.

        In the summer we have the option to buy Mari, whilst Soares will be a free agent. So like Ceballos they all have about 4 months to force a longer term Arsenal career. We now have quite a lot of players playing for their Arsenal future PEA and Lacazette included. If they can achieve CL qualification, I think PEA will stay.

    1. AMN can provide pace and drive from midfield and/or RW and this ,I suspect ,is where MA will now use him.The trouble with AMN is his decision making and the fact that he tends to become complacent..You can cure the latter,but as to the former, you either have it or you don’t.Perhaps under guidance from MA he can improve in this vital area .

  1. Niles us a great midfield, emerged off academy that way. Bellerin is back, Niles is back on bench. Soares is injured anyhow, then he is bellerin back up.

    Sad to see our youngsters used up, out of position, then benched or injured as Saka!

    We have a young golden generation. waisted!

  2. Soares have PL Experience and a better defender than niles imo, Niles doesn’t want to play at right back so why not get a back up to bellerin that actually want to play in that possition?

    he and tierny means 2 very good crossers! and he can fill up at left back to.

  3. Waste outfield team on our books
    Soares, Mustafi/Socrates, Luiz, Kolasinac
    Elneny Xhaka
    Pepe, Ozil, Mkhitaryan,
    That is a full 11 which hampered Freddie / Aterta from achieving their results. Except Soares, the same hampered Unai from the EL. Except Pepe, rest are too old to learn a trick or two. No wonder Arsenal is at no 10 with very little chance of making it to the top 6, forget top 4.Some may say ” Class is permanent, form is temporary”, please define temporary – does it take a 50M striker a year to score an away goal? or does it take a 350K/week a single corner kick as an assist for this season? Once we start accepting facts and leave behind sentiments, then the club will progress. Man U had no issues in transferring Rooney,Real Madrid had no issues transferring Ronaldo, neither did Juve have any issues transferring Giggi Buffon., Barca is open to let Messi move.Yet we get sentimental with our non performers (on the pitch I meant).Not surprising we dropped from being top 2 to top 4 to top 6 and now to top 10 in just a decade. Many may slate Koscielny, but he had the conviction and the character not to cheat the club as he was aware that he could not meet the rigors of the EPL, took a pay cut to play in a less competitive environment.

  4. Well he can’t be any worse. Niles has been below average Niles is a midfielder. Soares is a defender and a RB

    I think he will be an improvement over Niles and maybe even Chambers at RB

  5. what is the guarantee that he would do any better for Arsenal?

    Well… Better player around him than at Southampton… Probably

    1. No preconceptions, for Arsenal to succeed, the player most in form in each position should play; no exceptions.

  6. A player who has won the euros and about to his his peak (most players hit it around 27 28) and the experience and senior figure will be a great addition all whilst he is out to impress

    It’s a win win and most so as the likes of Niles and Bellerin can learn from

  7. I think Niles was growing into the role and was getting better every day. His display against Chelsea was superb to say the least.

  8. AM-N is not a full back. Soares is! AM-N has been misused of necessity for ages now and we are wasting what could be a fine central midfielder in order to keep a mediocre player( in him )as full back cover. THAT MAKES NO SENSE and my instinct tells me MA would never have bought Soares at all if he was intending to keep AM-N in his wrong position. Just think about it and you will see that makes sense. Once properly fit the RB position will be between Bellerin and Soares with AM-N either in his proper position OR not used as first choice central midfield at all. No more square pegs in round holes, as both Wenger and Emery often did, and not ALWAYS(though sometimes) from necessity either! Those days are on the way out IMO.

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