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Mikel Arteta says Cedric Soares is the best technical full-back at Arsenal

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Mikel Arteta says Cedric Soares is ready to make a meaningful impact at Arsenal after regaining full fitness.

The Portugal international initially joined the Gunners on loan in the January transfer window, but leg and facial injuries have prevented him from making his debut.

But the former Southampton defender, who has now signed a four-year deal to remain at the club permanently, is in contention to face Norwich on Wednesday evening.

And Arteta hailed Cedric's technical quality, admitting that the 28-year-old has the best decision making out of any of the current Arsenal full-backs - even first choice right-back Hector Bellerin.

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"He's a different quality in the full-back area than what we have," Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.

"He's a gifted, technical player and is probably the best we have in the final third to make the right decision and attack the box as well."

Arteta also added that Cedric offers him the luxury of using different systems, with the defender equally adept at playing as an orthodox full-back in a back four, or as a wing-back.

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"He can play in a four or a five, he's a really good player with experience in the Premier League that can help us."

Cedric admitted last week that he has been left frustrated by the injuries which have prevented him from playing for Arsenal thus far.

Posting on Twitter, he wrote: "I’m delighted to announce that I have signed a long term deal to stay at Arsenal.

"I’ve been really frustrated with how injuries have kept me off the pitch so far, but I’m working as hard as I can to return as soon as possible. Thank you to all those who have supported me. Let’s go, Gunners!"

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