It is high time for Southampton to permanently offload this Euro 2016 winner – Here is why

Southampton Opinion: Saints should offload Cedric Soares permanently

According to latest claims from Italian outlet Calciomercato, Southampton are keen to get right-back Cedric Soares off their books permanently in the summer after the Portuguese international returns from his loan spell at Inter Milan.

Soares has already been deemed surplus to the demands at St.Mary’s by manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and the Saints shipped him out on loan to Inter Milan in January, with the Italian giants having the option to buy him permanently at the end of the season.

Calciomercato, however, reports that Inter do not want to trigger the buy clause in the deal, as Luciano Spalletti’s side are reluctant to fork out
€11million for a player who won’t be much of an upgrade on their existing options.

The 27-year-old Euro 2016-winning full-back has struggled to establish himself as the first-choice at the San Siro and Southampton have a big decision to make on his future when he returns to the south coast in the summer.

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Soares has been usurped by Yan Valery at the right-wing back position, with the former RB Leipzig manager favouring the French starlet over the experienced Portuguese international.

Valery has really come of age and has done a terrific job in the Premier League in recent months and he certainly deserves to continue in that role next season as well. Hence, if Soares stays at St. Mary’s for another season, he is likely to play second-fiddle to the youngster, a role that apparently doesn’t suit an established international star like him.

Meanwhile, the Saints have shown plenty of fight and resilience in the Premier League since the turn of the year and Hasenhuttl has clearly been instrumental in transforming the club’s fortunes.

His brave decision-making in the January transfer window and charismatic leadership have been pivotal to the Saints’ recent upturn of form. The Austrian hasn’t hesitated to get rid of deadwood and underperforming stars in the squad, with the likes of Manolo Gabbiadini and Wesley Hoedt asked to head for the exit door.

Cedric Soares is another player who certainly falls in that bracket. The 27-year-old was a raging success in the Premier League when he made his move to the south coast from Sporting CP back in 2015 but his progress has stalled over the past two campaigns.

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Despite underwhelming with his performances in recent seasons, Soares has retained his first-choice status purely based on reputation, while lack of competition for places has also played a part in that.

The Portuguese star has let the team down on countless occasions with poor marking and mental freezes in defensive situations, while his contribution to the attack has also left a lot to be desired at times.

Hasenhuttl, however, has already made a clear statement of intent that he is not going to stick around with any of the underperforming stars. Southampton have apparently adopted a sell-before-buy policy in the transfer window in his presence and they are expected to continue with that in the summer.

The Saints need to offload big-money flops like Sofiane Boufal, Mohamed Elyounoussi and Guido Carrillo to raise funds and invest in other areas of the squad.

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Soares clearly has no future at Southampton under Hasenhuttl and reinstating him in the first team would be a step backwards for the club. That said, they should not hesitate to cash in on him in the summer.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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