Southampton right back Calum Chambers is being linked with a move to Arsenal, who are stepping up the search to replace free agent Bacary Sagna.
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Arsenal are reported to be stepping up their quest to replace the departing Bacary Sagna, with another product of the much vaunted Southampton academy heading Arsene Wenger’s wishlist.
The Mirror have reported that teenager Calum Cambers is Wenger’s preferred option, after the club scouted him in action twice for England’s Under 19 side.
Perhaps overlooked due to the meteoric rise of Luke Shaw on the opposite flank, Chambers rose to prominence in the Saints side as the season went on, offering a genuine challenge to first choice right back Nathaniel Clyne.
As with all players from the Southampton stable, Chambers is comfortable on the ball and is a full back who is equally comfortably going forward or defending, although the former is perhaps his most impressive facet, with Chambers having been deployed further up the pitch on occasion for the Saints’ youth teams.
With the club since he was a child, locally born Chambers is the latest in a long line for talented young players to make their first steps in football for the South Coast club, joining the likes of Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and Shaw.
Arsenal were unable to agree a new deal with regular right back Bacary Sagna, the former Auxerre man having been heavily linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City on a bosman deal this summer.
Reserve full back Carl Jenkinson has not developed as quickly as had been hoped after his signing from Charlton Athletic, a situation which has led to Wenger’s desire to bring in a right back who can make the position at the Emirates Stadium his own for the coming years.
Chambers certainly fits that bill, with the 19 year-old representing a long term investment as well as being a player who can impact the squad now – the kind of transfer deal that Wenger has always found particularly attractive.
With Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott both having been successful purchases from the Southampton set-up, Wenger will also be content that he would be buying a player from a place that he can trust to have nurtured and developed Chambers’ talent effectively.
It does mean that the future of Jenkinson is uncertain, however, with the 22 year-old having spoken of his desire to nail down a regular place in the Arsenal starting line-up after the departure of Sagna. It could be that Wenger sees the two young Englishmen as vying for a place in the team, with both being versatile enough to fill in other positions as and when required.