Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is managing an injury crisis at his club with several defenders currently unavailable and while the Gunners used the January transfer window to bring in reinforcements, some at the club have questioned the decision to sign Cedric Soares from Southampton.
This is because the 28-year-old, who is a free agent in the summer, won’t be able to play for Arsenal straight away as he is currently injured.
The right-back picked up an injury against Crystal Palace at the end of last month and isn’t expected to return for at least another couple of weeks.
According to The Athletic, eyebrows were raised when Soares arrived at Arsenal’s training centre to complete his move wearing a knee brace.
Soares had been an important player for Southampton this season and has scored one goal and provided one assist in 19 appearances this campaign.
The report claims the Saints had expected Soares to be leaving the club in the summer after the extent of his injury emerged.
However, Southampton were pleasantly surprised when Arsenal had agreed to pay £5million last month to bring the Portugal international to the Emirates.
Despite currently being sidelined the north London club are confident the player’s ligament problem is healing well.
Arteta’s squad is currently stretched with numerous injuries to defenders.
Calum Chambers suffered a season-ending injury after he ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and could be out for up to nine months.
The Gunners are also not expecting Kieran Tierney to return until March and Sead Kolasinac is managing his recovery from an ankle problem.
Along with Soares’ arrival last month the Gunners also agreed a £12m deal with Flamengo for centre-back Pablo Mari.
Arsenal paid the Brazilian club a £4m loan fee for Mari, and have the option to make the move permanent for an additional £8m in the summer.
The Gunners currently sit 10th in the table and are 10 points off fourth-placed Chelsea but now, like the rest of the league, they have a couple of weeks off before resuming Premier League matches.
The club will be taking their winter break in Dubai, with training expected to begin on Friday and last till Tuesday, ahead of their match at the Emirates against Newcastle United on February 16.
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