Arsenal has been quite active in this summer transfer window as they have signed Sanchez, Debuchy and Ospina. In the past, 3 signings will be good enough but it seems Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger isn’t ready to close the wallet just yet as he is ready to splash out on yet another defender. This time it’s Southampton’s Calum Chambers. The 19 year old is a right back and that makes the move even more surprising. With Debuchy already signed, it didn’t look like Arsenal needed another right back as Sagna had already been replaced and Jenkinson is still around to act as his back-up. Why spend big on another right back? According to reports, the fee for Chambers is in the region of £16m. That is big money in Arsenal’s parlance. Till last summer, that was Arsenal’s record transfer.
With that reality, Wenger cannot spend that much on a player that won’t be useful in the first team immediately. All these made me delve into the pros of signing Chambers. Chambers will be adding to Arsenal’s homegrown talents. In Nasri, Van Persie, Clichy and Fabregas, Arsenal lost quite a number of their home-grown talents and it’s important to swell the ranks again. The arrival of Chambers would do just that.
Also, he could be the fourth choice centre-back Arsenal need. Wenger currently has three experienced centre backs at his disposal (Mertesacker, Koscielny and Vermaelen) but that is a sharp contrast to last season when he could call on four (Sagna inclusive). Four centre backs are not too much for a club that is chasing glory on four fronts but no experienced centre back would be willing to be 4th choice, even the third (Vermaelen) is keen to leave owing to limited first team football. To that end, a talented youngster would be just fine. Chambers might have played more games on the right side of defence but he can also play as a centre back and in that light, he would be Arsenal’s fourth choice centre back playing the cup competitions and EPL if need be.
Not only can Chambers be Arsenal’s fourth choice centre back, he could also be the answer to the defensive midfield question. He might have played only right back but from the stats garnered; he could play as an anchor man because he has what it takes to.
Appearances – 22
Tackles – 45
Interceptions – 36
Chances Created – 12
What is the role of a defensive midfielder if not to snuff out opponents’ attack? With his tackles and interceptions record, I believe he would thrive there. Arsenal is still in the market for a defensive midfielder but should they fail to get one, Chambers might just solve that conundrum. Toure arrived Arsenal as a striker but stiff competition upfront and dearth of personnel in the heart defence saw him move there to partner Cambell and together, both men propelled Arsenal through an unbeaten season.
Finally, Chambers would be Arsenal’s long term right back. Debuchy might be the incumbent but at 29, the question is for how long would he be there? By signing Chambers, Arsenal has armed themselves against exploitation from clubs when the time comes for Debuchy to be replaced. I foresee Chambers replacing Debuchy while highly rated Ballerin would push him all the way in the fight for that position.