Shortly after Arsenal completed a deal for Southampton defender Calum Chambers, North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur pulled off a transfer coup of their own, bringing in Eric Dier from Sporting Lisbon.
Dier had previously been linked with the Gunners, but ultimately made the switch to White Hart Lane. And considering that both he and Chambers have a number of similarities, it is worth pondering who got the better deal.
Of course that is impossible to answer emphatically considering the players have only just arrived at their new clubs. But there is still place for an analysis of both players’ skill-sets and promise, as they prepare to lock horns in the Premier League for years to come.
Chambers’ arrival at Arsenal is not simply a case of Arsene Wenger signing cover for Mathieu Debuchy.
While the teenager played predominantly as a right-back at the Saints, he is also a promising centre-back who can operate effectively in defensive midfield when required. And it is this versatility that makes him a fantastic addition to the Gunners squad.
However, in an interesting coincidence, Tottenham’s new signing Dier also operates in those exact same positions, although in his case he is predominantly a centre-back.
However he is also more than comfortable at right-back or as a holding midfielder, meaning that in essence both Tottenham and Arsenal have signed the same type of player – young, flexible and perfect for a tough Premier League campaign.
Both are also English players who are being tipped by many to accumulate plenty of caps for the Three Lions in due course.
For now they will be focused solely on impressing for their new clubs. But the only thing that really sets them apart at this stage are their price-tags, with Arsenal agreeing a deal that could see them ultimately pay £16million for Chambers, while Dier arrived at Spurs for a reported £4million.
That is some difference, for a player who has featured 32 times for a club who finished second in Portugal last season.
A year older than Chambers, it is no surprise if Dier is slightly ahead of him in terms of experience; although the younger player did rack up 25 games for the Saints prior to his departure. But in truth the one thing Spurs fans can hold over their North London rivals, at least for now, is the cut-price fee they paid for Dier.
Time will tell who got the better deal, but one thing is certain, both clubs have bought very wisely, with Spurs getting the edge for now only in terms of the money they saved.