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Arsenal ‘handed Cedric Soares injury boost ahead of Bodo/Glimt clash’

Arsenal ‘handed Cedric Soares injury boost ahead of Bodo/Glimt clash’

Arsenal right-back Cedric Soares could reportedly return from injury in time for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt.

The Portugal international initially picked up a knock prior to the 3-0 win over Brentford on September 18 and missed September’s Nations League fixtures as a result.

There was initial optimism that Cedric would have been back fit for the North London derby, but the 31-year-old is understood to have sustained a fresh problem before that 3-1 win.

Mikel Arteta is still able to call upon Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back, but the Spaniard may now consider giving Cedric his first minutes of the season.

According to the Evening Standard, Cedric is now back in full training after battling back from his knock and is set to be available for Thursday’s game against Bodo/Glimt.

Arsenal defender Cedric Soares receives treatment after an injury on January 9, 2021© Reuters

The former Southampton man is yet to make a competitive appearance for the North London giants so far this season, appearing as an unused substitute in four Premier League games.

The return and strong form of William Saliba has seen White take up a wide role to accommodate the Frenchman, and Cedric is therefore Arteta’s third-choice right-back behind Tomiyasu.

Cedric has two goals and five assists under his belt from 55 games in an Arsenal shirt since joining in 2020, and he made 16 Premier League starts last term amid Tomiyasu’s injury woes.

With his contract due to expire in the summer of 2024, Cedric was expected to complete a permanent exit from the Emirates Stadium over the summer window amid reported interest from Fulham.

The Cottagers had already poached Bernd Leno from Arsenal, but Cedric was determined to stay and fight for his place in Arteta’s lineup, and his experience is also highly valued by Gunners staff.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates on October 1, 2022© Reuters

With Cedric now back in the fold, Arsenal should only be working with two absentees for Thursday’s game in the forms of Mohamed Elneny and Emile Smith Rowe.

Elneny is unlikely to return to action before 2023 due to a hamstring injury, while Smith Rowe is aiming to return to training in December after undergoing surgery to address a long-standing groin problem.

Arsenal will be expected to rotate heavily for the clash with Bodo/Glimt, as the likes of Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner, Eddie Nketiah, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Marquinhos vie for starts.

Arteta must then prepare his side for battle with Liverpool in Sunday’s Premier League game as the Gunners aim to maintain their one-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table.

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