Nacho Monreal was a steady favorite for so many Arsenal fans, so with Cedric Soare stepping up, familiar feelings must be embraced.
Arsenal fans weren’t exactly thrilled when the club pulled Cedric Soares in on loan and then proceeded to make it permanent despite him not yet making an appearance. Having seen so much of Cedric over the years, I was just peachy with the decision, but I can understand how it might have felt a bit anticlimactic.
But now that he has started to earn his fee, I have to pull out a comparison to Nacho Monreal—our long0time leftback who, while unextraordinary, thrived in how good, not great, he really was.
I’ll admit, I often got frustrated with Monreal myself. But I could never fault the guy for his intrinsic value. He was consistent at a time when so few at Arsenal were. You could always get a six or seven out of him and rarely, rarely, expect any less.
Every so often, Monreal would flare up to an eight or so if he was able to provide a goal or an assist, but for the most part, you knew what to expect.
Cedric Soares isn’t much different. He’s only made a few appearances for the club, but you can see the foundation for consistency that he’s setting with each performance. He doesn’t go a whole lot to catch your eye, he just plays the game with a steady head and a steady foot.
You can’t teach instincts, and like Monreal, Cedric has the instincts to just know what he should be doing. Whether that’s attacking the ball or sitting back and manning his defensive duties. He does both with very little questioning of his decision making.
The early goal in his first appearance was a flukey start, but an exciting one nonetheless, and since then he’s been such a reliable guy filling in for Hector Bellerin when the situation demands it. He’s actually been so consistently good that you wouldn’t find much argument if he took over the No. 1 job. He’s more consistent than Bellerin, though he’s definitely less capable of fireworks.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, now, is it? He’s a defender first. That’s his flaw. If you even want to call it that.
This was a bargain buy if ever there was one. If we can get a handful of years out of Cedric, we’ll look like geniuses. Even if it’s a bit understated.