Arsene Wenger is hoping to conclude a deal to bring Southampton’s Calum Chambers to the club, according to the Daily Mail.
After the departure of Bacary Sagna to Manchester City this summer Arsenal have been on the hunt for a right-back to fill the void that he leaves and they have reportedly see Chambers as his long-term replacement.
The Gunners are also on the verge of signing Newcastle United’s Mathieu Debuchy, but that transfer will have no effect on Arsenal’s pursuit of Chambers, with Wenger’s interest in the Saints youngster set to remain regardless of whether the Frenchman arrives at the Emirates or not.
Signing Chambers looks a tough test though, with Southampton determined to keep hold of the remainder of their first-team ahead of the coming season.
Saints have already lost the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Luke Shaw this summer for big money, meaning they are under no pressure to sell and they want to ensure they do not lose any more quality.
The South-Coast side finished in eight position last season, their highest ever Premier League finish, but it has seen a surge in interest in their players and Chambers’ departure would be a further blow to their chances of repeating the feat again this campaign.
Indeed, Chambers’ performances already compare favourably to Debuchy’s in the forward going aspects of the game.
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Chambers completed more dribbles, passes and crosses than the French international, but Debuchy – who is set to be Arsenal’s first choice when he joins up – was more impressive defensively.
It is a striking disparity between the two top targets, but also suggests both could have a part to play, even if Chambers will be second choice.
Against the top clubs, Wenger is likely to opt to utilise Debuchy’s defensive qualities and experience, but when the Gunners have to do battle with sides that put the impetus on them to do the attacking Wenger may favour the exuberance of Chambers.
It also shows that Wenger has planned thoroughly for the departure of Sagna, by plotting to buy two players who can replace him in an attacking and defensive sense.
If the duo were to join it would leave Carl Jenkinson’s future at the club questionable, though. The boyhood Arsenal fan plays with passion and pride when in the famous red-shirt, but he is unlikely to be happy with being third choice and a loan move to Stoke, which he is being linked with today, could be the first signs that an exit from the Emirates is imminent.