Press conference

Transcript: Cedric on Benfica, Bellerin, Gabriel


After landing in Rome on Wednesday evening, Cedric went straight into a virtual press conference with the assembled media.

He was asked about playing at left back, competing with Hector Bellerin, playing against Benfica and much more ahead of our Europa League tie.

Read on for a full transcript:

on playing at left back...
It's quite a different experience. Of course I did it before and I played there for Southampton in a few games. It's a little bit different than playing on the back but when you play at this capacity it's about adapting. The coach needs me there so we need to be prepared for that. That's what I try to do, to be ready for it and to be prepared to adapt my qualities to this position, and help the team achieve the best result that we can get.

on challenging Hector Bellerin for our right-back slot...
If I believed that I wasn't going to play then I wouldn't be in football. I came to Arsenal to help. We need to look at things like this and I'm always available to play in whichever position the coach needs me to. I will be ready to fight for any position the coach believes I can help the team in.

on whether this is our best route to the Champions League...
I think we need to go step by step. We have a tough game tomorrow because Benfica is a very strong opponent. We know about this and we need to first win our games and then go step by step. It's still very far away from this mathematic count. I think there's still a lot of points to challenge for in the Premier League. We will be fighting for all of them.

on playing in neutral venues with away goals...
It's a solution that UEFA found for the game to be played. I think it's correct. We are here to play the game, we need to be ready for it, it will be tough and we will be in another stadium but it is still a very nice stadium. I'm sure it will be a good football match.

on Gabriel...
Gabriel is a very good player. He's very strong and I think he's helping the team like all the other players as well. Gabi has been very good since he joined Arsenal. He's a very strong and physical player. He's also quick and we are helping each other as well. He speaks the same language as me, so it has been very good for the team and I'm sure he will keep growing as a player at Arsenal.

on Benfica being a strong opponent...
One hundred per cent. We know about the qualities of Benfica. It could easily be a Champions League challenge, but the Europa League is made of quality too. A lot of teams in the Europa League have huge quality. Benfica is one of those. We believe we can win this game and we are ready for it. We just need to show it on the pitch.

on Martin Odegaard...
He has been excellent. He's a very nice guy. He's talking with everyone and speaks lots of Spanish, so he has been talking with everyone. I think all the team is welcoming him very well. He had a good game in the last game, when he started. I think he had a good game. We won the game so everything was positive. Right now, I just have positive things to say about him.

on Odegaard's character...
He's a calm person but I think he's bringing a lot of quality to the squad and he has been excellent. I'm sure he will keep growing as a player. He has a big future ahead of him.

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