Calum Chambers became the fifth key Southampton player to leave the club today and Saints supporters are starting to show signs of frustration about the amount of departures during the transfer window so far.
Chambers joined Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Luke Shaw and Dejan Lovren in leaving St. Mary’s this summer and it means their squad is starting to look depleted.
It leaves them with an influx of cash, but a lack of players and their fans were not the only ones to show their frustrations – with the club releasing a statement on Chambers’ transfer.
It said: “We are naturally disappointed whenever any of our Academy graduates leave the club, and that is very much the case with Calum’s departure.
“Calum made it clear to us that he did not see his future at Southampton. As such, it was crucial that we were able to negotiate a substantial fee that also reflects the work our staff have put into Calum’s development since he joined the club at the age of eight.
The news that Chambers appeared to force the transfer is something of a surprise, given that he was handed a number of first team opportunities by the Saints last season.
He is likely to find that number of starts reduced this year at Champions League-chasing Arsenal, but that does not necessarily mean it will be a bad move for him in the future.
On the contrary, Arsene Wenger is one of the best managers in England at developing young talent and has already shown his ability to nurture former Southampton stars by turning Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from youngsters to first-team regulars at the Emirates.
That means little to Southampton fans, though, who have seen the heart ripped out of their team this season and they were naturally disappointed to see another of their key players leave today.
Here are some of the best tweets from Southampton fans on the Chambers transfer.
It's a shame we have lost a great academy talent in Chambers, but it seems we got good £ for him, and we have another young talent in Clyne!— Saints Gossip (@SaintsFC_4_Life) July 28, 2014
I can't even believe this, what a shame.. Chambers was one of my favourites! #saintsfc— Alex (@alexjameslowry) July 28, 2014
#saintsfc have now become a bit of a joke. Can't understand why they let Chambers go, it's not as if they need the £12M. Jay Rod next?— Colin Stewart (@skinner1965) July 28, 2014
#SaintsFC is a selling club. Since 2006. Białkowski; Chambers, Lovren, Forren, Shaw; Puncheon, Lallana, Bale; Ox, Lambert, Walcott =£200m— Keyboard Gangster (@chykkman) July 28, 2014
Without trying to sound bitter I think it's a terrible move for Chambers. Is he really going to remove the French no.1 from RB? #saintsfc— The Southampton Way (@SouthamptonWay) July 28, 2014