In the news this morning, British journals are smeared with the reports that Arsenal will officially announce the done deal made with Southampton for the 19-year-old ace, Calum Chambers. Chambers, an England U-19 international, is reported to have agreed personal terms with the North London club and medical passed on Friday. This piece of business by Wenger is no longer speculative as the gaffer himself confirmed it to several British newspapers in a press conference. He called splashing £16m on an English 19-year-old a ‘’gamble’’ he is prepared to take and expressed his admiration for the lad, whose versatility, he believes, would justify the fee paid for his signature. In his words, ‘’He can play at Centre-Back, Right-Back and Central-Midfield. I hope he will give us competition for the players in these three positions’’.
The player no doubt, at 19, has a lot to learn from older and more experienced players like Debuchy, Koscielny/Mertersacker and Arteta/Flamini because, other than his age, he hasn’t many English Premier League games under his belt. Nevertheless, 18 Barclays Premier League starts in one season, is somewhat an achievement for any player regardless of the age. With a height of 1.82m (6 ft), the Southampton academy graduate, in September 2012, made the step up into the England U-19 team, after featuring for the English U-17 side in the UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship elite round, scoring their only goal of the tournament in a 1-0 win over Ukraine. He has also scored two goals for the U-19, so far. One, as a final goal in the 6-0 bashing of the Faroe Islands Under-19 and the other as the lone goal in the victory against the Turkish Under-19 on the 21st March, 2013.
So, it’s a done deal, we should get a confirmation and official announcement today on Arsenal.com, the official website of the club. Now, to the next controversy and speculative reasoning! Would Chambers act as deputy to Debuchy? Come in as a central defensive cover when Vermaelen leaves? Or has Arsenal just signed the holding midfielder the club has been craving for a while now? Chambers’ role in the Arsenal set-up has now taken centre stage in the argument and opinion box of some Arsenal tabloids. While some have said, he would come in as the Debuchy deputy, with Jenks out on loan to Hull City (or Tigers), others are saying that he’d provide cover for Thomas Vermaelen, when he leaves and Bellerin would be promoted as the deputy to Debuchy. Surprisingly, it appears rare to find an Arsenal fan, pundit, journalist or blogger who sees Chambers as the holding midfielder Wenger has been looking out for, probably because it seems very unlikely for Le Professorto bestow such a tasking responsibility on the boy. If Arsene Wenger is still who we know him to be, then never say never! He plays his cards close to his chest.
Welcome Chambers, our latest ace from the Saints!!