Sporting to Southampton
After days of transfer speculation, Southampton announced today that they had completed a deal for 23 year-old Cédric Soares. As part of the deal, Cédric joins on a four-year deal, with Sporting Lisbon set to receive 6.5 million euros for his services. Cédric has been linked with a move away from the Estádio José Alvalade for some time now, and this move makes sense, as he will join fellow countryman José Fonte.
The verdict is still out on Cédric for many fans of the Portuguese game. Despite clawing his way into the side during Sporting’s tumultuous 2012/2013 season through a series of impressive performances, Cédric has not truly “broken out” since his debut season. Noted to be a competent all-around player capable of both defensive duties (such as marking and tackling) and attacking duties (crossing, dribbling), Cédric did not enjoy a very successful seasons, often suffering in Sporting’s larger matches. Despite this, his skill and work ethic was rewarded by Portugal coach Fernando Santos, who handed Cédric his Seleção debut against France last October.
The rest of this summer’s transfer window will have a large effect on Cédric’s time at Southampton. Many predict this transfer was completed to cover for Southampton’s seemingly inevitable loss of starting right-back Nathaniel Clyne, who is a top transfer target for Liverpool. Should Clyne move on this summer, Cédric will likely fill the role at right-back. Should Clyne fail to secure a move away (which looks unlikely), Cédric will find himself playing second-fiddle. But regardless, this move was a smart one for Cédric. Southampton are a forward-thinking club with a forward-thinking manager in Ronald Koeman, and is a club that is always in tune with player development.