In a fit of desperation, Arsenal have brought in Cedric Soares to bolster our fullback outlook. Here are three players who will be immediately affected.
If you looked at the Arsenal fullback situation to star the year, you’d have thought we were set for a decade. We were so set that we let Nacho Monreal go, leaving Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to safeguard rightback and Sead Kolasinac and Kieran Tierney to do the same at left.
All three unique, powerful players and all three young enough to hold down the fort for a long time to come.
Yet here we are. Not more than a few weeks ago, we had no one but Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Bukayo Saka—our newest leftback—to protect the flanks. And while they did admirably, there’s no hiding that Bellerin and Kolasinac have injury problems, Tierney has missed the majority of the season and neither Maitland-Niles nor Saka are actually fullbacks.
In response, the Gunners are on the brink of signing Cedric Soares (it will probably be completed before this article goes live). That makes it five fullbacks, five talented fullbacks. Which is quite a crop of talent.
And so, with Soares arriving, let’s take a look at the three players most effected. We start with No. 3.
3. Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka is simply incredible. This dude is so incredibly talented that he can just be moved to leftback and be just fine. Against Premier League opposition. But there’s no hiding that he is an attacker through and through. And finding a way to spring him back to a primarily attacking role is a pretty high priority.
While Cedric Soares is more of a rightback than a leftback, he’s played both, and Arsenal need a leftback more than they do a rightback. Kolasinac and Tierney are both out, so Soares can slip right in at left back, no acclimation needed, and allow Saka to move forward in the formation.
Hopefully that doesn’t mean him being benched, but even if it does, the idea of him coming on as a late sub is delectable. He will render opposing defenses with ease.
Moving on to No. 2.