Reported Arsenal target Calum Chambers was on target in Southampton’s first pre-season friendly of the summer, a 4-0 win over EHC Hoensbroek.
The Dutch lower-league team offered little resistence to Saints’ attacking style of play and in the end the Premier League team cruised to success, with Billy Sharp, Sam McQueen and Steven Davis scoring alongside Chambers.
Ultimately, it may be a goal of little importance, but it is one that heightens the right-back’s reputation even further and suggests that he has picked up where he left off last season.
It was his form during the previous campaign which saw him forge a reputation as one of the finest young talents in England and alerted Arsenal’s attentiion.
The Gunners have a good record of bringing through Southampton youngsters, having previously captured Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from the South-Coast club, and it looks as if Chambers may be next on the list of Saints stars to join the Emirates.
The 19-year-old England youth-international has also seen Luke Shaw, a player who he has competed alongside since childhood at Saints, move on to bigger and better things – with a move to Manchester United this summer – and he may be tempted to make a big money move of his own as a result.
The stats certainly suggest that he could emulate his friend, too, as documented below. Shaw moved to Manchester United for £31 million earlier this month and his performances last season were strikingly similar to Chambers’.
|Team||Pos||Goal Assist||Accurate Cross / apps||Accurate Pass / apps||Touches / apps||Successful dribbles / apps||Won Tackle / apps||Blocked Cross / apps||Interception / apps||Apps||Mins|
The full-back duo both made remarkably similar amounts of crosses, touches, passes and tackles per game. In-fact the only truly noticeable difference between the pair is that Shaw was more confident when running at defences.
Indeed, there is a feeling at Saints that Chambers could even surpass the left-back, who was part of England’s World Cup squad this summer, in the future.
As a result, Ronald Koeman’s side will be determined to keep hold of Chambers. They have already had in influx of money come into the club through the sales of the aforementioned Shaw as well as Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana to Liverpool, meaning they are under no pressure to sell.
It may make the Gunners’ chase of Chambers fruitless this summer, but if he continues to show this sort of form through the rest of pre-season and throughout the next campaign then it will be inevitable that he will eventually outgrow St Mary’s.
Who will be better - Chambers or Shaw?