Arsenal Find Oppotunity In Calum Chambers Loan To Southamton

By Anish Morarji from St Albans, England via Wikimedia Commons
By Anish Morarji from St Albans, England via Wikimedia Commons /

Arsenal’s young defender Calum Chambers has been linked with a loan move back to his former club, Southampton. Could this bring about a January purchase?

When Calum Chambers joined Arsenal from Southampton for £16m in the summer of 2014, fans were skeptical. But they did not doubt that Chambers would be given his opportunity. After one season of his being at the club, however, all of that has changed.

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Brazilian Gabriel Paulista’s arrival at the club during the 2015 summer window has increased the Arsenal’s depth at center back, forcing Chambers to make an impression in his natural right back position. However, due to the emergence of Hector Bellerin as Arsenal’s number one right-sided defender, Chambers’ opportunities have been scarce to say the least.

In the 2014-15 season for Arsenal, Calum Chambers made a total of 22 appearances between the Premier League and the Champions League, 16 of which were starts. The contrast in numbers is astounding. In 2015-16 so far, he has started only one game.

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After the 20-year-old defender played a brilliant ninety minutes against Liverpool, he has not started a game for the Gunners since. In every appearance he has made, including Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Swansea on October 31, he has not been on the pitch for more than ten minutes.

According to The Metro, Chambers’ old club Southampton have been in contact with the Gunners over a six month loan move for the Englishman. This presents a variety of questions: why further decrease Arsenal’s squad depth at a time like this? Why leave Mathieu Debuchy as the only other option at right back? Why not play Chambers instead?

In the same article mentioned above the author mentions a link between Mathieu Debuchy and AS Roma. Reportedly, if one goes through the other will not, and vice versa. This presents an interesting opportunity for Arsene Wenger to add another defender in the upcoming January window.

Yes, Arsene Wenger notoriously does hesitate to strengthen his squad in January. But the departure of Chambers, a young player that can play both center back and right back, for the second half of the season would leave a gaping hole in the Gunners’ back line should Bellerin or any of the center backs get seriously injured.

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If Chambers stays at the Emirates and Mathieu Debuchy departs, the impact will be lighter due to Debuchy’s virtually nonexistent role in the team at the moment. The other sequence of events, as stated before, is different due to Chambers’ versatility.

Secondly, Calum Chambers already being on the fringes after just eighteen months with the club is not only disconcerting, but it brings about the question of which young players Arsene Wenger will look to build on for the future. Personally, it was surprising to see the young man get as much playing time as he did in his first season – I would have expected him to grow into a major role when one of Arsenal’s older defenders decided to retire.

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Basically, if Calum Chambers is loaned back to his old club in January, someone new needs to be brought in. Hector Bellerin has never been relied upon at the back for a whole season, and it remains to be seen if his pace and stamina persists through 2016.

If Bellerin’s – or one of the center backs, for that matter – form does not continue, Chambers will have missed an opportunity to stake a claim for first-team football at the Emirates. In fact, the opportunity will fall to someone new. If whoever it is takes it, Chambers will have trouble getting back into the team upon his return.