According to a recent report from The Independent, Cedric Soares could be set for a move away in this month’s transfer window. The 27-year-old 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 thrown his future at the club into doubt.
And that’s because reports suggest that the ex-Red Bull Leipzig chief is willing to offload the £13.5 million-rated Premier League star (as per Transfermarkt) this month in a bid to cut the number of players in his squad, which should be of keen interest to Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers as he seeks to solve his side’s big issue at right back.
Ultimately, while the Bhoys have embarked upon a solid season to date in sitting top of the Scottish Premiership table and having reached the last-32 of the Europa League, the right back department does appear to be a clear weakness in Rodgers’ squad, and as such could well be exploited by good teams between now and the end of the season.
Mikael Lustig has been an excellent servant to Celtic following his move from Rosenborg back in 2012, but at the age of 32, it does appear as though time is beginning to catch up on the defender given he hasn’t always convinced down the right-hand-side this season.
Yet deputy Cristian Gamboa clearly isn’t fancied by Rodgers either given he has appeared on just one occasion in the league so far this term – Anthony Ralston appears to be ahead of the Costa Rica international in the right back pecking order.
As such, it seems pretty clear that reinforcements are needed in that area of the field, and while it might be an ambitious move to go for Southampton’s Cedric this month, given he has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United in the last 18 months, his arrival would go some way to solving that glaring right back problem.
The 27-year-old may not have enjoyed the best time at St Mary’s in the last 12 months or so, but on the whole he has proven his worth to the South Coast outfit with 116 appearances for the Saints, 102 of which coming in the Premier League.
And with regular football under managers Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel, Mauricio Pellegrino, and indeed Mark Hughes, it’s obvious that Cedric has become a stalwart in that Southampton defence over the years – turning out regularly for a team that finished in the Premier League’s top ten for four straight seasons underlines just how adept a right back he is.
Yes, he may not be the most explosive and dynamic right back when going forward, hence he has only managed ten assists during his time at Southampton, but what the Portugal international gives one’s side is consistently high-level defensive displays – he is extremely solid in his own final third.
And there is little doubting that he would be a huge upgrade on the current right back options at Parkhead – and with the title race set to go down to the wire, the January window could hold the key to where the Scottish Premiership trophy ends up come May.
And with the right back department clearly a problem for Rodgers, the Celtic boss must seek to make an ambitious move for linked-away Cedric in a bid to solve that big issue.
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