According to a recent report from The Daily Mail, Cedric Soares could be set for a move away in this month’s transfer window. The right back currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Southampton and has done so since leaving Sporting Lisbon back in 2015, although struggles for regular football under new Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has called his future at the club into question.
And reports suggest that Hasenhuttl may seek to offload the Portugal international in a bid to make room for fellow defender Joakim Maehle, which is news that should be of keen interest to West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini as he seeks to banish any concerns regarding his own right back ranks at the London Stadium.
Ultimately, the arrival of Ryan Fredericks from Fulham during the summer was widely praised by many given West Ham’s lack of genuine quality in the right back department, what with veteran Pablo Zabaleta very much the main man in that area despite turning 34 earlier this week.
Yet Englishman Fredericks, like Sam Byram before him, has seriously struggled to produce the goods for the Hammers in only appearing four times in the Premier League for the East London club – yes, he is currently suffering from an ankle problem, but he was comfortably second-best to Zabaleta prior to injury.
And with Byram having been shipped out on loan to Championship side Nottingham Forest during the summer, he doesn’t appear to have much of a future at West Ham, which leaves Pellegrini with Zabaleta as his only real option at right back – and that could be a problem come the summer given the Argentine’s contract is up.
As such, the future of the right back ranks is likely to be of concern to Hammers boss Pellegrini, but those worries would soon be banished were they to land Southampton’s Cedric this month.
The 27-year-old may have struggled to produce his best form for the Saints in the last 12 months or so, but one mustn’t forget the job he did in filling the void left by Nathaniel Clyne upon signing for the South Coast outfit back in 2015.
The Portugal international had big shoes to fill given Clyne’s efforts for Southampton, and he did just that with consistently high-level performances in his first few seasons at St Mary’s, helping them finish sixth under Ronald Koeman in 2015/16, and then eighth under Claude Puel the campaign after.
Yes, the 27-year-old’s form has somewhat dipped in recent times, very much coinciding with Southampton’s own decline towards the bottom of the Premier League, but there is no doubting that there is a supremely accomplished top-flight right back in Cedric, who is very adept defensively but also carries a threat going forward.
And with West Ham struggling in that area of the field given Byram and Fredericks’ difficulties, alongside an expiring contract for the ageing Zabaleta, the door could be ajar for Pellegrini to finally banish any worries about the right back department by landing linked-away Cedric this month.
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