FOREIGN NEWS

Soares & Mari Sign 4-Year Deals As Arsenal Extends Luiz & Ceballos Stay

The North London English Premier League outfit, Arsenal Football Club, have signed defenders Cedric Soares who came on loan from Southampton Football Club but has yet to feature for the Gunners due to unlucky battles with injuries, and Pablo Mari who joined from Flamengo of Brazil and has shown in the few games he played to be a firm and reliable centreback, to four-year contracts each. The Mikel Arteta managed Club also extended the loan of Real Madrid’s Daniel Ceballos until the end of this season, while extending the contract of former Chelsea FC Brazilian defender David Luiz, which expires at the end of the season, for one extra year.

The deals were speculated by sports journalist David Oinstein yesterday morning, and the club herself later in the evening of yesterday, announced the deals.

David Luiz has endured a woeful end to the season especially since the resumption of matches after the COVID-19 lockdown. Although a firm figure in the dressing room and an inspiration at training, Luiz has been involved in mistakes that have been costly to the club on the field of play.

Cedric Soares, who can play with both feet and has great balance on the ball, was signed to balance the right side of the Arsenal defence formation. He can play in either the right back position or the advanced attacking role on the wings as he possesses great crossing skills. But injuries has plagued him since his arrival six months ago.

According to Oinstein, the defenders will be part of Mikel Arteta’s rebuilding job at the Club.

Ceballos is a tough, skillful midfield player who is comfortable on the ball and possesses great passing ranges. He has been called upon on various occasions to instill calm and purpose to the midfield of the club.

The club, in a press release yesterday, said, “We are delighted to confirm that defenders David Luiz, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares have agreed contracts to stay with us beyond the end of this season.

“In addition midfielder Dani Ceballos has extended his loan from Real Madrid until the end of the current 2019/20 season.

“David Luiz, who signed from Chelsea last summer, has agreed a new one-year deal. Pablo will complete his formal move from Flamengo on a long-term deal when the transfer window opens next month. Cedric will also join us permanently on a long-term deal from Southampton.”

Technical director Edu said: “I am really happy that we will have these players in our squad for the future. They have been part of the long-term technical plan Mikel and I have developed. They bring the right balance to our squad.

“David is a really important player for us. He has played most of our matches this season and has been important for the team. His passing, his communication with the team on and off the pitch. He helps everyone.

“With Pablo we’re all disappointed he got injured at Manchester City. Since Mikel arrived here he was asking for a central defender who was left-footed. We were really pleased with Pablo – his behaviour, the way he is training, his mentality and his quality. Unfortunately, he has that injury but of course we are really happy to keep him for the future.

“Cedric is also going to be an important player. He has been unlucky with the injuries but he is close to being ready and gives us more strength in the right-back position. We’re also pleased Dani will finish the season here. He is making a good contribution and we look forward to him having a strong finish to the season.”

Interestingly, Arsenal’s next match is against Southampton Football Club today, and Soares is most likely not to be fit for it.

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