With Calum Chambers linked with a move away from Arsenal throughout the summer transfer window, imagine our surprise when the news broke, as reported by the likes of the Mail, that the seldom-seen centre-back had signed a new contract with The Gunners until 2021.
Despite a promising start to life at The Emirates after arriving from Southampton for a hefty £16 million investment in 2014, per the BBC, Chambers has slipped down the pecking order in recent times.
He was sent on loan to Middlesbrough last season, performing well despite their eventual relegation, but returned with Rob Holding established at centre-back in his absence. The fact that Chambers has featured just once this season, against Doncaster Rovers in the EFL Cup, didn’t exactly suggest that he’s a crucial part of Arsene Wenger’s plans.
Nonetheless, the England Under-21 international will be staying in North London for the foreseeable future – which will bring an end to any hopes Newcastle United might have had of renewing their summer interest, as reported by The Chronicle.
Chambers could have benefitted from some much-needed first-team football with The Magpies as, even with Wenger switching to a three-man defence, it is difficult to see where the youngster fits in.
Considering the stagnation of fellow England starlets Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere in recent years at Arsenal, perhaps it would have made sense for Chambers to buck the trend and kick-start his career elsewhere.
A return to the North East, under the stewardship of Rafael Benitez, a manager renowned for being able to organise a defence, might have been far more beneficial in the long term.
Let's hope the Arsenal benches are comfortable.