According to reports, Arsenal are closing in on a £16million move for Southampton defender Calum Chambers.
Predominantly a right-back, Chambers’ seemingly imminent arrival would – at first glance – hint at him being very expensive cover for recent recruit Mathieu Debuchy.
Given that the French international made 32 appearances for Newcastle last season – featuring in all but nine Premier League games due to a two-match suspension and a minor groin strain – Chambers’ arrival seems somewhat strange; especially when you consider the presence of Carl Jenkinson who is more than capable of covering when required.
And yet it seems Arsene Wenger wants the highly-rated Saints teenager, which could spell the end for Jenkinson despite his obvious passion for the club he supported as a child.
It is being suggested that Chambers is also seen by Wenger as a viable option at centre-back, and with the likely departure of Thomas Vermaelen, Chambers’ versatility would certainly be useful.
But his time spent in the heart of a defence has been minimal, with his flexibility most commonly utilised by the coaching staff of England’s under-19s, where he has played as both a centre-half and a holding midfielder in recent times.
Chambers is young enough to be moulded into a new position. But in the short term it seems he would be used more as a player for all occasions rather than given the chance to make any one position his own.
With Debuchy Arsenal’s new first-choice right-back, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny very much the first-choice centre-back pairing and a new experienced defensive midfielder tipped to compete with Mathieu Flamini, Chambers will be an expensive but multi-purpose addition.
But if Arsenal want to challenge on all fronts next season, he could prove to be vital.