Southampton signing Cedric Soares: In profile

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Cedric Soares, known simply as Cedric became Southampton's second signing of the summer last Thursday. Making him the latest addition to their squad as the south coast club prepares for a hugely hectic season to come.

Saints will play European football for only the second time in the last 30 years, but who exactly is Ronald Koeman's new Portuguese right-back?

Cedric joined Southampton from Sporting Lisbon for an undisclosed fee this past week, signing a four year deal which will tie him down to the club until 2019.

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The deal follows in the arrival of Spain and Malaga striker Juanmi, who signed for the club for a fee in the region of £5 million on Tuesday.

One Southampton player who Cedric will need no introduction to is fellow Portuguese defender Jose Fonte, with the pair both featuring in Portugal's 1-0 friendly victory over Italy in midweek. 

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Speaking to Southampton's official website Soares admitted that he sought advice from his fellow Portugal team-mate and Saints captain before deciding to sign on the dotted line.

"Jose is a very good player and a very good person. I spoke with him and he let me know a lot of history and about every good thing from this club", said Soares.

"Jose told me that the group is very close, and for sure we will fight for the same goal together. I'm very excited to be here and play with him again."

Career In Portugal

Originally born in Germany to Portuguese parents, Cedric moved back to Portugal at the age of two. Where his talent was very quickly picked up on by European giants Sporting Lisbon, whom he joined in 1999 at the age of eight.

The full-back went on to make his debut for the Lisbon giants in 2010, aged just 19 and would go on to make 67 appearances for the Portuguese club, scoring two goals in the process.

The past season also saw Soares help Sporting win the Taca de Portugal, despite being sent off for giving away a penalty less than 15 minutes into the final. 

Known for his attack-minded play Cedric has developed immensely over the last few seasons to become a complete modern day fullback. With an appetite to defend almost as much as he loves to attack, in a style which has helped him to earn senior international recognition this past season.

Before joining the Saints Cedric was heavily linked with moves to both Manchester United and Real Madrid. However neither move ever came to fruition with the latter deciding to instead sign FC Porto's Danilo.

Whilst United have been known to be huge admirers of current Saints right-back Nathaniel Clyne. A player who is now heavily expected to depart St Mary's this summer following the arrival of Cedric.

European Squad Size

The coming season will also see Southampton compete in the Europa League, should they progress past the 3rd qualifying round as expected. In the past the Europa League has proved to be the undoing of many Premier League clubs seasons.

With Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur among those to feel the effects of playing midweek European football, sandwiched between league action on the weekend in recent campaigns. 

Following the clubs highest ever Premier League finish in seventh position last season. The pressure will be on for manager Ronald Koeman to create a squad that has the capabilities to be able to challenge successfully on all fronts next season.

With Koeman's first task this summer being to retain the star performers of last season such as midfield linchpin Morgan Schneiderlin, who recently claimed he would only leave Southampton for a club with Champions League football. The French international who has been with the Saints since their League One days has been heavily linked with a number of Premier League clubs in recent months.

Although both Cedric and Juanmi will add strength in depth to their respective positions Saints fans will still be expectant of more arrivals within the coming weeks. With the likes of QPR striker Charlie Austin and defender Toby Alderweireld; who was on loan at Southampton from Atletico Madrid last season among the names who have been linked with moves to the south coast this summer.

Having led Southampton to arguably their best ever season in England's top flight, the challenge for Ronald Koeman and co will be to repeat the successes of last season and then some. The only question is can he do it with the added pressure of European football for the coming campaign?

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