Arsenal’s veteran right-back Cedric Soares may not be the sort to generally grab headlines with crucial in game contributions but he believes those who follow his role in the future will find themselves only growing more important in club’s plans.
Across the modern game full-backs are becoming increasingly vital attacking weapons with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson at the heart of Liverpool’s title win, sharing 25 assists and six goals between them last season.
Cedric may have rivals for Arsenal’s right-back berth in Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles but whoever starts in that position and on the opposite flank plays a crucial role for Mikel Arteta, who has introduced far greater tactical variety to his use of full-backs and wing backs.
Notably the likes of Cedric and Bellerin have been asked to function as auxiliary central midfielders, tucking infield when Arsenal have possession, whilst left wing-backs Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka or Maitland-Niles effectively function as wingers high up the pitch, allowing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to play more centrally.
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Such are the demands of playing in the position in 2020, with Cedric noting his past experience in midfield which could aid him in adapting to Arteta’s demands.
“The role of a right-back has changed,” Cedric told Gaffer magazine. “When I started playing football, it was not a fancy position.
“I was a midfielder all of my youth career, but as a professional you see how important the new generation of full-backs are. You’re the extra man. Everyone always has the quality and wants to attack, but defence is my first job.
“If you play as a back four, a full-back needs to be complete, to defend well, especially in the Premier League. It’s a demanding job physically.”
Cedric signed a four year contract with Arsenal…