Arsenal closing in on a significant Saints star
Arsenal are set to make their third signing of the summer, snapping up Southampton’s Calum Chambers for £16m from Southampton. The Gunners, who are steadily amassing more troops for their cavalry are preparing to lead a title charge next season, having already secured striker Alexis Sanchez and senior right back Mathiue Debuchy, from Barcelona and Newcastle respectively.
At 6/1 to lift the Premier League trophy next term, having won the FA Cup in May, the north London club are identifying strategic targets in their quest to chase more silverware. Chambers has reportedly already undergone a medical at the Emirates, and Arsene Wenger sees the 19-year-old as a versatile option who can play at either right back, centre back or further forward.
Having lost Bacary Sagna on a free transfer to Manchester City, Arsenal swiftly moved to replace him, bring in Debuchy for a fee in the region of £10m. The latter usurped Sagna from the French squad at the World Cup in the summer, with coach Didier Deschamps preferring the former Magpies man.
Wenger clearly sees Chambers as the long term solution however, with Debuchy at 28 entering the peak of his career. The move though, questions Carl Jenkinson’s future at the club, who has been linked to numerous destinations this summer, including West Ham on a permanent basis. It was thought initially that the Gunners would bring in Atletico Madrid’s Javier Manquillo on loan, though reports indicate that Liverpool have stolen the march signature of the 20-year-old.
And then there is the small matter of talented youngster Hector Bellerin, who is currently in the academy. Big things are expected from the 19-year-old, who started his career on the wing before a seamless transition to right back.
Chambers, though, is seen as a future England starter, and long term successor to Glen Johnson. He will be in good company at the Emirates, with former Saints star Theo Walcott also there for moral support. It is believed that Southampton’s defensive French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin may also be on the Gunners’ radar, though the south coast club will be keen to prevent anymore top players leaving St Mary’s. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw have all moved on this summer, with centre back Dejan Lovren also close to joining Liverpool.
Arsenal have built a reputation for blooding youngsters such as Walcott early in their career, exposing them to big European games,and Chambers could be no different. While odds of 25/1 to win the Champions League next season might suggest a number of other teams have a better chance, if Wenger keeps adding to his squad, their is no reason why they can’t go all the way.