Chelsea are set to move for Southampton’s Cedric Soares, as they try to bring in at least three more players before the transfer window closes. Antonio Conte is keen to add to his wing-back options and believes that the Portuguese international could be the perfect player to compete with Victor Moses. The 25-year-old isn’t the club’s only right-back target, as they are also monitoring Serge Aurier and Joao Cancelo.
The Telegraph report that has been a target for Chelsea for some time, as they view him as an ideal addition to their current squad. He is attractive to them, as he would be cheaper than the other options. The club believe that they could sign him for between £15-20 million, which would be viewed as good business in the current market. Cedric has performed well in the Premier League and showed that he could compete at a higher level when he helped Portugal win Euro 2016.
What would he bring to Chelsea?
Cedric is good in both halves of the pitch and he would provide a more balanced option to Victor Moses, who is better at going forward than he is out of possession. The Portuguese international is effective at positioning himself well as he is rarely caught out. He is aggressive when trying to win the ball back, as shown by his average of 347 ball recoveries per ninety minutes last season.
The Premier League is a physical league and the 25-year-old has proven that he can do well in this environment, which lowers the risk of signing him. The other two players linked haven’t played in England and this could be why Cedric is the one being targeted.
During his time at Southampton, he has posed a threat going forwards and that is crucial for a wing-back in Conte’s system. Last season, he contributed three assists and averaged 1.43 chances created every ninety minutes., which is a good return for a full-back. At a team like Chelsea, he will get more opportunities to go forward and he would thrive as a result. He is an excellent crosser of the ball and a potential link-up with Alvaro Morata could be very productive.
How likely is a transfer?
There is no doubt that Chelsea will be desperate to add players before the transfer window closes. They lost on the opening day and their squad is lacking depth. Antonio Conte hasn’t been happy with the backing he has received this summer and this is why the club need to act. It would be disastrous to lose the Italian, which is why they need to give him the tools to do the job.
Southampton won’t want to sell Cedric and they have been tough sellers all summer, as Virgil van Dijk remains at the club, despite plenty of interest from other clubs in the Premier League. Cedric is a player they could offload, but they will be keen to keep him. If Chelsea are serious about signing the right-back, they have a great chance of getting him, but they may have to pay more than the £20 million that the piece suggests.