Mikel Arteta sprung a surprise with his Champions League squad (Picture: Getty)
The experienced Portugal international hasn’t played for the Gunners since last November and spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham.
Cedric was widely expected to leave the north London club during the summer transfer window but Arsenal received little interest in the experienced defender.
A long-term injury sustained by Jurrien Timber on his Premier League debut has handed Cedric an unlikely shot at redemption after he was included in Arsenal’s Champions League squad ahead of their return to the competition after a seven-year absence.
Speaking to DAZN Portugal, he explained his desire to stay in North London: ‘We’re very supportive of each other, we’re a family, even when we’re not playing.
‘Everyone wants to play and I also always really want to play, that’s what makes me competitive in football.
‘It’s what gets me to training every day with that determination, but also to realise that we have to contribute, even if we’re not in the squad sometimes.
Arsenal Champions League Squad
Goalkeepers: Aaron Ramsdale, David Raya, James Hillson
Defenders: Cedric, Lino Sousa, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Ben White, Gabriel, Jakub Kiwior, William Saliba
Midfielders: Mohamed Elneny, Jorginho, Thomas Partey, Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard, Kai Havertz, Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith Rowe
Forwards: Leandro Trossard, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Jesus
‘That is the aspect I think I developed a lot at Arsenal. Sometimes you have to work for the group and not focus so much on yourself individually.’
Thomas Partey, meanwhile, who sustained a groin injury prior to the international break, is also included along with England Under-19 defender Lino Sousa.
Mohamed Elneny, who is closing in on a return to full fitness after nearly a year out, is also in the squad, along with summer signings Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, the latter of whom is loving life at his new club.
The former West Ham captain won the club’s August Player of the Month Award and is relishing the opportunity to lead Arsenal’s assault on the biggest prize in club football.
He said: ‘Watching Champions League since I was a kid, you just know how special them nights are.
‘For me to walk out, hear that music, the anthem, the walk before the game, it gives you that extra bit of fire to go out there and perform, but also at the end, you’ve got that trophy that you look at, anything is possible.’
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A very surprising decision.