‘The opportunity was there and I took it’

He had to wait for it, but Cedric Soares enjoyed a dream debut on Wednesday.

The defender joined Arsenal back in January, but injury problems and the lockdown conspired to keep him out of action for more than five months after that. He finally got his chance late on against Norwich, replacing Hector Bellerin at right wing back, and the former Southampton man marked his debut with a goal in an eventful cameo.

He’s only the third Arsenal player to score on his debut in the past 10 years, and the first since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in 2018.

Afterwards he spoke to Arsenal Digital, and this is what he told us:

Cedric, what a start to your Arsenal career - 229 seconds between you coming on the pitch and scoring the goal. How was that?

Yes, it felt great to be fair. To be able to first of all play for Arsenal in Emirates Stadium and add that start with a goal, of course I feel very, very happy. But I need to thank all my colleagues, they helped me during this time. You saw the reaction, they were happy as well. They were supporting me and I'm very, very thankful for that. But most important is of course the three points.

Of course, three more points and keeping that positive momentum going into the Wolves game at the weekend...

Yes, it will be a difficult game. Wolves has a very good team as well. But of course we want to win. Like you said, we are in a positive moment and we want to keep it going. The Premier League is always 100 per cent so we know we have a difficult game but I'm sure we'll be ready.

When you think about the sort of goal you expect to see a right back score, maybe it's not a left foot from outside the box. Have you done that before?

It happened before, yes. I had a left-foot goal in Sporting when I was in Lisbon. I think in that moment I just felt the moment. The ball was there, the opportunity was there and I took the shot. It was a goal and I'm really pleased for it.

We all know that you've had to wait quite a while for this moment. Are you hopeful now that you can just push on and kick-start your Arsenal career?

Yes it was a difficult time. Arsenal kept confidence in me as well and I want to give it all back to the club and to the fans as well. What I can guarantee is that I will give my 100 per cent in every game.

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