Southampton unveiled Portuguese international right Cedric Soares on Thursday, as Saints completed a $5 million deal for the Sporting Lisbon defender.
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Soares, 23, has come through the youth ranks at Sporting and has made four appearances for the Portuguese national team. He only had one year left on his current deal with the Portuguese giants and therefore for the second time this week Saints seem to have done a tidy piece of business in the transfer market.
After snapping up Spanish international striker Juanmi from Malaga for $8 million on Tuesday, Ronald Koeman’s is continuing to strengthen his squad for the 2015-16 campaign as Europa League action will come to St Mary’s and the ambitious club seek to improve on their best-ever Pl finish of seventh from last season.
But what does Soares’ arrival mean for Saints’ current right back, Nathaniel Clyne?
Clyne, 24, only has a year left on his current deal at Southampton and as he stalls on signing a new deal the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United are keen to sign the England international. His days on the south coast seem to be numbered. It is true that Saints do not possess another experienced right back, so perhaps Soares is arriving to compete with Clyne for that spot as center backs Maya Yoshida or Toby Alderweireld often shifted out to full back when Clyne was missing last season.
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However, it is hard to believe that Soares would have left a spot as Sporting’s regular right back which meant playing in the UEFA Champions League and challenging for domestic titles to be a backup for Saints. All signs point towards Clyne leaving and after three years as a starter at Saints, he may feel now is the time to kick on and move to a team who will be challenging consistently for a spot in the top four. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has already had a $15 million bid for Clyne turned down this summer but it is believed the Reds will come back again and improve their offer now that Saints have another right back on the books.
Southampton’s record of scouring Europe for talent at relatively cheap prices and turning them into solid and dependable PL players has been remarkable over the past 12 months with the likes of Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic and Graziano Pelle all excelling and costing significantly less than some of the star players — such as Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw and Dejan Lovren — Saints sold on last summer.
If Clyne does leave for Liverpool this summer, it seems like Saints have a good replacement in Soares. This deal seems to work for everyone concerned. Well, expect for Liverpool who will be splashing the cash on a Southampton player once again but will acquire one of the PL’s best right backs if Clyne does signs on.