Arsenal Transfer News: Why Gunners' Potential Calum Chambers Move Makes Sense

Dominic Raynor@@dominicraynorCorrespondent IIJuly 15, 2014

Tottenham Hotspur's Emmanuel Adebayor, left, is tackled by Southampton's Calum Chambers during their English Premier League soccer match at St Mary's stadium, Southampton, England, Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

With Newcastle right-back Mathieu Debuchy expected to walk through the door at the Emirates Stadium any day now, it may seem strange that manager Arsene Wenger is preparing to make a move for another full-back. 

But, according to Simon Jones of the Daily Mail, the Gunners are stepping up their interest in Southampton full-back Calum Chambers.

While France international Debuchy is a straight replacement for Bacary Sagna, who agreed to join Manchester City on a free transfer in June, Chambers would be expected to fight it out as a backup right-back with Carl Jenkinson.

So what's the point?

Well, the imminent signing of Debuchy, per James Dickenson of the Daily Express, seems to indicate that Wenger does not feel Jenkinson is ready to be first choice.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Carl Jenkinson of Arsenal celebrates scoring the second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road on May 11, 2014 in Norwich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The 22-year-old has been at the club since 2011. His best season came in 2012-13, when Sagna broke his leg, and the defender made 21 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, per Soccerbase.

Yet despite this, Jenkinson has failed to push on and it could be argued that the former Charlton Athletic defender has missed his chance.

If Jenkinson is destined to remain a backup player during his time at Arsenal, why not opt for a younger right-back for the role? One who has the time and potential to improve.

Chambers is just 19 years old and has proven at Southampton that he is a quality player with a bright future. He also has plenty of first-team experience, playing 22 Premier League games last season, compared to Jenkinson's 14, per Squawka.

Chambers is young, relatively experience and could easily step in when required. He can play in defence and can also switch to a midfield role when required.

Not only that, but his statistics suggest he is already better defensively than Jenkinson. His interceptions per game of 1.64 last season betters Jenkinson's 0.43 and he is also the clear winner when it comes to tackles won, at 1.73, compared to the Arsenal player's 0.79, per Squawka.

In a head-to-head competition, Chambers wins. But it would seem it may not come to that at the Emirates with both Arsenal and Newcastle eager to include Jenkinson in the Debuchy deal, as Jones again reports in the Daily Mail, be it on loan, or as a permanent move.

If that is indeed the case, it would leave 19-year-old Spaniard Hector Bellerin, who has yet to make an appearance for the Gunners, per Soccerbase, next in line for the right-back slot. That's one more reason a deal for England under-19 Chambers makes sense.

Debuchy might be the undisputed first choice for Arsenal but at 29 years old he is obviously not a signing for the long term. During the Frenchman's stay at the Emirates, Wenger will be grooming his replacement.

Having competed with an established defender like Nathaniel Clyne at St Mary's, Chambers has proven that he is up for that kind of challenge.

And when called upon he has the quality to deliver. He won 54.93 percent of his aerial duels last season and 50.24 percent of his total duels, per Squawka. Both figures better those of Jenkinson.

But it is not just defensively where Chambers excels, as James Phillips writes in Metro:

Chambers was a key part of a Saints age-group team including Luke Shaw and James Ward-Prowse that once went two years unbeaten. A converted central midfielder, Chambers is good on the ball, with pace and strength to boot.

However, it remains to be seen if the Gunners can actually tempt the youngster away from Southampton, where he has three years left on his contract.

But if Jenkinson is indeed set to leave Arsenal then a move for Chambers makes perfect sense, despite the signing of Debuchy.

And even if the Englishman stays, Chambers represents a step up in quality and potential and that can only be beneficial for the Gunners.


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