Premier League

West Ham raid for Cedric Soares would give Pablo Zabaleta something to think about

West Ham raid for Cedric Soares would give Pablo Zabaleta something to think about

According to a recent report from The Independent, 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 just one Premier League appearance under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has called his future at St Mary’s into question.

And reports suggest that the Saints boss could seek to cash in on the £13.5 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) this month in a bid to cut the numbers in his squad, which should be of keen interest to West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini in bolstering his right back options in a bid to give Pablo Zabaleta something to think about.

The Breakdown

Ultimately, the right back department has been something of a problem area at the London Stadium for some time now, as although Sam Byram was tipped by many to solve that issue in that area of the pitch, he simply hasn’t been able to do so – there’s a reason he is currently on loan at Championship side Nottingham Forest.

And Ryan Fredericks’ arrival during the summer was another nod to the long-term, only for 33-year-old Zabaleta to remain the main man in that position after a string of impressive and commanding displays for the upwardly-mobile Hammers.

However, with the Argentine turning 34 later this month and with his contract up in the summer (as per Transfermarkt), Pellegrini will surely be thinking about reinforcements in that area of the field, and the fact that Southampton’s Cedric may be available should be of keen interest to the West Ham boss.

Ultimately, while the Portugal international has somewhat struggled to convince new boss Hasenhuttl of his capabilities, appearing just once in the league under the ex-Red Bull Leipzig chief, there is little doubting that he has been a fine servant to the Saints in his three-and-a-half years on the South Coast.

The 27-year-old, who helped his country win the European Championships back in 2016, has appeared 116 times for Southampton since his move from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2015, 102 appearances of which coming in the Premier League as he nailed down the right back role at St Mary’s, thus minimising the impact of Nathaniel Clyne’s departure in the same transfer window.

And while he hasn’t been overly fruitful in the final third with only ten assists to his name for Southampton, Cedric has proven to be a solid and reliable defensive option for the Saints in the last few years – there’s a reason he was linked with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United during his time at St Mary’s.

And being a consistent performer down the right-hand-side, with adeptness going forward without neglecting defensive duties, should be of interest to Pellegrini as he looks to life after Zabaleta – at 33 years of age, the Argentine is very much entering the twilight of his career.

And with deals for messrs Byram and Fredericks ultimately failing in recent times, the pressure is on Pellegrini to get Zabaleta’s heir at right back absolutely spot on – he could do a lot worse than seek to lure Southampton’s linked-away Cedric to the London Stadium.

West Ham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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