Arsenal have had a busy transfer window so far and now have made versatile defender Calum Chambers their fourth signing of the summer. The 19 year old Southampton academy graduate has made his move to North London. The England U-19 captain signed for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £11m that could rise to £16m with instalments.
Chambers had been rumoured to Arsenal earlier in the transfer window, but, after the signing of Mathieu Debuchy, many thought the move wouldn’t materialize. Now that Chambers has arrived, Arsenal have three right backs. The Chambers signing is one for the future. The former Southampton man’s versatility means that he may or may not stay as a right back. His main position is as a right back, but he can also play center-back and holding midfielder. Depending on what position he plays for the gunners, his future could go a number of different ways.
Chambers will likely start his Arsenal career as a right back. His arrival means that current Arsenal right back, Carl Jenkinson, will go out on loan, according to reports in the media. Despite his price tag, Chambers will start the season behind Mathieu Debuchy. The French international was Arsene Wenger’s second purchase of the summer. He has the experience and pedigree that the 19 year old is yet to gain. If Chambers stays as a right back for the foreseeable future, he will look to overtake Debuchy in the next season or two. The former Newcastle man is already 29 giving young Chambers an increased chance if usurping him to be the number one full back at the Emirates.
Chambers has played holding midfielder in his time in the England youth squads. Arsenal have a big hole at holding midfielder. Logic says that Chambers could be turned into a full time holding midfielder for the gunners. At the moment, Arsene Wenger only has two holding midfielders in his squad, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini. Both of those two are on the wrong side of 30 and neither are the top quality player the Arsenal boss is looking to fill that hole in his squad. The ladder part of that is why this seems the most unlikely option for Chambers. Arsenal are looking for a top quality central midfielder right now. Wenger has talked about looking to bring in top quality additions. A top quality addition would make it difficult for the 19 year old to break into the side.
What could be the most promising possibility is that, Chambers could be transformed into Arsenal’s center-back for the future. Arsenal currently have two top center backs in Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. Both still have a few more years to give at the top level, but neither are getting any younger. It has been thought that Chambers could develop into a center back. Arsenal are also in need of an extra center-back as cover. Arsene Wenger used Bacary Sagna as his fourth center back last season, so he’s clearly not scared of the idea. Chambers is athletic, has a solid build, and is 6’1 so he seems to have key physical attributes for the position. The 19 year old may never see a game at center-back, but if he is successfully turned into a top center back that would be the biggest reward for the gunners.
Only Arsene Wenger and his back room staff know what lies ahead for young Chambers. He may not get the same attention as Luke Shaw, but the price tag will put pressure on the 19 year old to succeed. He is a very highly rated prospect and this could turn into a bargain for Arsenal or it could go the other way and be a total flop. At the moment, no one knows how Calum Chambers will pan out, but he looks like he could be one for a bright Arsenal future.