Ex-Saints coach outlines Chambers' best position, calls Ox deal a bargain

Southampton coach Jason Dodd has high hopes for two of his graduates now plying their trade at Arsenal.

Southampton have been a regular hunting ground for new talent for Arsenal in recent years, and former Saints youth coach Jason Dodd told Sky Sports that he is confident that Arsene Wenger's most recent recruits from the South Coast will underline their quality at the Emirates.

Three big-money youth signings have made the switch from St Mary's to the English capital in the past decade, with all three going on to play for the senior national side.

On the flip side of that, the Gunners have had to pay out in order to bring those players to London, and Southampton have recouped over £35 million from their sales to Arsenal alone.

Theo Walcott was the first to arrive in 2006, eventually costing £9 million according to the Telegraph, as a 16-year-old striker before being moulded into a right winger with an eye for goal by Wenger.

Next came Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with BBC Sport reporting a £12 million fee upfront in 2011, a powerful wideman who has slowly been growing into an important figure at Arsenal, despite a succession of niggling injuries.

Calum Chambers arrived last summer for a reported figure of £16 million (BBC), the final sale of many from Southampton's 2013/14 squad. After a promising start on the right and in the centre of defence, Chambers has been benched in favour of young Spanish fullback Hector Bellerin in recent weeks.

Dodd emphasised how much of a fan he is of Oxlade-Chamberlain, stating that the £12 million fee that brought the England man to the Emirates will prove to be a snip, even though, like Walcott, he has had his fair share of injuries.

"Arsenal have got a bargain in my opinion because he will just get better and better," the Southampton legend said.

"I feel for him this year because he’s had these niggly injuries – hamstrings – that he’s not really had before and it’s really affected his performances this season because he hasn’t been able to return to play as regularly as he would like to play."

Discussing Chambers, the Saints coach went on to say where he thought the versatile 20-year-old's best position was.

"I’m not sure how Arsenal see him, but I still see him as a centre-half and he knows that he can play there.

"He didn’t enjoy centre-half when he was younger because he wanted to get involved. Playing there is a little bit easier because there’s not so much running. But he’s a player. He’s a big strong boy now and can deal with things in the air. I think he will progress into a very good centre-half."

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch