Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Cedric Soares after Pablo Mari arrived Emirates Stadium on loan from Brazilian club Flamengo.
The 28-year-old Portugal international will spend the rest of the season with Gunners with an option to make the deal permanent in the summer when his contract with Southampton contract expires at the end of the current campaign.
Soares made 19 appearances across all competitions for Southampton this season so far, scoring a goal against Portsmouth in the Carabao Cup while providing an assist against Wolves earlier this month but former Sporting Lisbon star told club official website: “It has been a while, to be fair,”
“We were close a few years ago, so it’s not the first time. It didn’t happen that time but now thank God it came true. I’m super happy.
“Obviously it was important for me in my career to come here. Southampton gave me the opportunity to play in the Premier League but obviously it’s amazing this step, to come here and play for Arsenal.
“To be able to reach this point is unbelievable.
“One hundred percent that I will give all my best every day and every game,” he added. “I try to be a guy with energy, a player that goes up and down. I like to consider myself a team player and yes, what can I say? It’s difficult when you need to talk about yourself! But again, I will give my 100 percent for the team and for the fans.”
Technical director Edu said: “Cedric is a defender with good experience of the Premier League, and of course at international level. He is another strong addition to our defensive unit who will provide our squad with quality. I know he is a player who plays with absolute full commitment and energy. We are all looking forward to going into the last stages of the season with Cedric as part of the club.”
Soares, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Inter Milan, has 11 assists and three goals in 138 appearances for Southampton since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in 2015 and he also played 33 times for his country and was part of the squad that won Euro 2016.
Arsenal play Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday and they will be eager to bag all three points to move up in the Premier League table.