Updates from Monday, July 28
Saints' Twitter announced:
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has spoken positively about the imminent signing of Southampton prodigy Calum Chambers, who is expected to arrive at the north London club this week.
The Press Association reports, via 101 Great Goals, that Chambers could join Arsenal as soon as Monday although Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail believes the deal may take a further 48 hours to complete. The player's fee will potentially rise from £12 million to £16 million.
Nick Callow quoted Wenger speaking about the shock move for the teenager, explaining the reasoning behind the move and the sizeable fee.
The French coach said, per Callow:
He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield. I hope he will give us competition for the players in this three positions. He hasn’t played many games, no, but the English players on the market in England are very expensive and at the end of the day I was ready to take a gamble because he is a player for the future.
Chambers is one of many young talents to emerge from Southampton's famous academy, but it appears his stay in the St Mary's first team will be a short one.
The 19-year-old exploded onto the scene in 2013-14 with the Saints, keeping the highly rated Nathaniel Clyne out of the side during sections of the campaign. Chambers earned 22 appearances for Southampton last year, per WhoScored.com, which included 18 starts.
However, he threatens to walk in the same shoes as Luke Shaw, who recently became the most expensive teenager in world football after his move to Manchester United, by leaving Southampton before they have enjoyed his best years.
Wenger's move for the player now makes perfect sense when you consider another strong season on the south coast would only see Chambers' value explode further.
BBC journalist Ben Smith believes Arsenal will have done excellent business in capturing him now:
Chambers a tremendous signing for Arsenal. Vast potential, England right back very soon. Worrying time for #SaintsFC— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) July 25, 2014
The signing of Chambers could be a pivotal one as Arsenal look to build towards a sustained period of success. He is a player who will only improve over the next few years and his fee will appear very cheap if he fulfils his obvious potential.
Is Calum Chambers worth £16 million?
The loss of Bacary Sagna would have hurt Wenger, but the arrival of Chambers will soften the blow considerably. The Gunners now have strong options at right-back, following their earlier capture of Mathieu Debuchy.
Chambers may not be currently spoken of in the same breath as his former team-mate Shaw but it is without question that he could achieve a similar level of fame if Wenger can develop the player to the highest level.