Why West Ham must go all out for Cedric Soares in January
The 27-year-old, who has been capped 33 times by Portugal, was arguably one of the best right-backs in the Premier League at one point, though his form has somewhat dipped this season.
Cedric Soares is the first-choice right-back at Southampton, but with the Saints struggling this season and looking very likely to get relegated, West Ham must try testing Southampton’s resolve for the Portuguese defender.
West Ham should be in the winter transfer market for a new right-back as Ryan Fredericks is ruled out for three months with a shin injury. Ryan Fredericks joined West Ham in the summer on a free transfer from Fulham after playing a crucial role in the Cottagers’ promotion to the Premier League.
But after starting well in West Ham colours, his form dipped massively and Manuel Pellegrini decided to drop him for Pablo Zabaleta.
Pablo Zabaleta has done an admirable job but he has entered the twilight of his career and is out of contract at the end of the season. The veteran Argentine, however, still has a lot left in his tank, but he might find it difficult to cope with the upcoming busy schedule and then the festive period.
Hence, Manuel Pellegrini must prioritise signing a right-back in January and his first option should be Southampton’s Cedric Soares.
Cedric is one of the most consistent full-backs in the Premier League, although he remains very much underrated. He has been with Southampton for some time now and has slowly established himself as a reliable defender.
The Portuguese is quick, intelligent, attacking and a very hardworking player who doesn’t shy away from the defensive responsibilities. It is rare to see a winger get the better of him as his game-reading, agility and ability to time his tackles perfectly make him an ominous opponent.
He is also a threat going forward, known for crossing abilities and energy. The 27-year-old’s final ball may lack end product at times but his endeavour to make things happen can never be questioned.
However, Cedric has not been at his best this season as Southampton have overall struggled. Yet, he remains one of the most consistent right-sided defenders and West Ham should surely pursue him.
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Available at £10million, Cedric would represent a massive bargain for the Hammers and Pellegrini could certainly find a long-term cure for the right-back position. Hence, it makes a lot of sense for West Ham to consider the Portuguese international.