Calum Chambers is the latest of Southampton’s players to exit St Mary’s this Summer and joins a list of Saints academy players that have made the move to the Emirates. He will be looking to follow in Theo Walcott’s and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s footsteps as he looks to secure a place in Arsenal’s back four for the upcoming season.
Many were quite shocked when it was announced that Wenger had signed the 19 year old versatile defender for £16 million, just days after confirming the signing of Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy for £12 million. This could turn out to be a great bit of business for Arsenal as they look to rebuild following the exit of Bacary Sagna who left the club on a free following the FA Cup success last season. Chambers can play right back, centre back and defensive midfield. I would expect him to play in the centre of defence as he has the physique suited for that position. I would expect Debuchy to figure at right back more than anyone else due to his experience.
Arsene Wenger has a history of paying a relatively big fee for young British talent and at £16 million there is always a little bit of risk attached when the word “potential” is involved, that being said Chambers has settled in rather quickly and played a key role in Arsenal’s 5-1 victory in their opening game of the Emirates Cup at the weekend. He looked assured, comfortable and showed a great deal of desire to showcase his talent.
Chambers made over 20 Premier league appearances last season which is impressive for a player who is yet to reach 20 years of age, Chambers could well find himself higher up the pecking order than first expected with the impending exit of Arsenal Captain Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian Centre back is wanted by both Manchester United and Barcelona, with Per Mertesacker not back in training until this week Chambers could be in line to start the first few games for Wenger’s men. If he proves himself in the Community Shield and the opening day of the Premier League at home to Crystal Palace he could be a very difficult player to shift.
Chambers has the right qualities to be a success for many years to come at the Emirates, he has already been compared to Arsenal legend Tony Adams. Chambers has the ability to become a commanding presence in the centre of defence. He is strong, good in the air, has a good turn of pace and has already shown a good understanding of his defensive duties. I would not be surprised to see him cement his place in the Arsenal starting XI early on his season.
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