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Cedric Soares 'wants to fight for Arsenal place next season'

Cedric Soares 'wants to fight for Arsenal place next season'
© Reuters
Arsenal right-back Cedric Soares, currently on loan at Fulham, reportedly intends to fight for his place under Mikel Arteta during the 2023-24 season.

Arsenal defender Cedric Soares reportedly has no plans to leave the Gunners this summer and wants to fight for his place in Mikel Arteta's team.

The 31-year-old was a regular fixture in Arsenal's first XI last season amid Takehiro Tomiyasu's injury woes but was relegated to third-choice right-back behind the Japan international and Ben White in the first half of the current season.

Cedric was subsequently loaned out to Fulham for the remainder of the campaign, but his playing situation has not improved much at Craven Cottage given the form of Kenny Tete.

Cedric has only started two Premier League matches for Marco Silva's side this season - both of which ended in defeat to West Ham United and Liverpool - and he has been an unused substitute in each of Fulham's last three games.

The Cottagers do not possess an option or obligation to make Cedric's stay permanent, and the right-back is set for a summer return to Arsenal, where he remains under contract until the end of next season.

Arsenal's Cedric Soares walks off the pitch after receiving medical attention on January 13, 2022© Reuters

With Arteta expected to oversee another firesale of players this summer, Cedric is expected to be one of the names on the chopping block before his £100,000-a-week deal runs out in 2024.

However, the Evening Standard claims that the former Southampton defender intends to fight for his place in North London and is determined to prove his worth to Arteta in pre-season.

Arsenal could be set for a rejig at right-back next term, as Arteta is apparently planning to revert White to a central role, despite the Englishman's success as a full-back this season.

Tomiyasu may not recover from his serious knee injury for another couple of months too, which could open the door for Cedric to get back into Arteta's good books during the summer.

Cedric initially joined Arsenal on loan from Southampton for the second half of the 2019-20 season, during which he won the FA Cup, and the 31-year-old made his move permanent that same summer.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta pictured on May 7, 2023© Reuters

The right-back has come up with two goals and five assists from 59 games in a Gunners shirt over the past three-and-a-half years, but he played just 119 minutes of football in the first half of the 2022-23 campaign before joining Fulham.

Should Arsenal decide that Cedric does not have a future at the club, the Gunners are being tipped to bolster their right-back ranks with the signing of Ajax's Devyne Rensch.

The 20-year-old has been a prominent member of the Dutch giants' squad this season and is due to become a free agent in 2025, but Arsenal may have to battle Liverpool and Manchester United for his signature.

Arsenal have also been tipped to move for Real Valladolid's Ivan Fresneda, but the 18-year-old is now said to be in advanced talks with Borussia Dortmund over a £20m move.

Arsenal, who will finish second in the Premier League table ahead of their imminent return to the Champions League, will close the season at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.

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Ajax's Devyne Rensch pictured in September 2022
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