Grading Arsenal's £16m signing Calum Chambers - competition for Debuchy or one for the future?

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Arsenal tied up a deal to sign Southampton right back Calum Chambers this week, but how good is the move from a Gunners point of view?

Southampton's fire sale continued this week, and after Liverpool and Manchester United swooped to sign some of their star players, Arsenal got in on the act with a £16m swoop for Chambers. The youngster was highly regarded on the South Coast, but how does the move to sign the England youth international grade out for Arsenal?


In signing Debuchy, Arsenal signed a right back who could replace Bacary Sagna immediately. Yet at 29, they knew they would only get three or four years of service out of the Frenchman, and with Carl Jenkinson not in the plans, signing a young right back who could contribute in the future was important. Chambers, 19, featured prominently for Southampton last season, and could even compete with Debuchy straight away. If not, Arsenal have the brightest young English right back for the foreseeable future, and whilst £16m may seem steep, a large proportion of it can merely be described as a deposit for what he will become. Another advantage is Chambers' versatility, as he can play at right back, right midfield or central midfield, and that could well come in handy in years to come.


The fee may be considered a little excessive given that Arsenal have already spent £12m on Debuchy, taking their spending at right back to £28m - whilst a centre forward still hasn't been signed. Additionally, there have to be concerns that Chambers' development could stall given that he's going to be behind Debuchy to begin with. Playing at Southampton on a regular basis allowed Chambers to grow and develop, which is what ultimately led to his big money move to North London - but at Arsenal, he may find it more difficult to play in the Premier League, which we have seen before with the Gunners.

Grade: A-

Spending so much on another right back may be seen as slightly questionable, but Chambers as bags of potential and could be Arsenal's starting right back for 10 years once he displaces Debuchy. You'd like similar money put into other positions, but it's hard to criticise Wenger for making a move with such a strong focus on the future of Arsenal - which, of course, he may not be a part of. Chambers' should get some opportunities this season, but the focus of this move is certainly on the future.

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