Tag Archives: Calum Chambers

Two out as Arsenal look to finance move for Samuel Umtiti

Arsenal have been heavily linked with Barcelona central defender Samuel Umtiti in recent weeks. At the moment it feels a bit like the media are putting 2 and 2 together and getting 5.

Umtiti has dropped to 3rd choice centre back for the Spanish giants this season, although this has more to do with a troublesome knee injury than anything else.

Since regaining fitness, Umtiti has found himself behind Gerard Pique and compatriot Clement Lenglet.

With Barcelona chasing Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, the talk is Barcelona will need to cash in on one of their other 3 defenders to accommodate him.

It is unlikely they will sell Gerard Pique, and the experienced campaigner would unlikely command a high transfer fee. That leaves Umtiti and Lenglet.

Umtiti would command a bigger transfer fee than Lenglet, and would also likely be less happy to sit on the bench behind de Ligt and Pique. All this in the mixing pot has led to the rumours that Umtiti will be off this summer.

The two clubs he has been linked with are Arsenal and Manchester United – the two Premier League sides most in need of a centre back; although Chelsea are surely going to be desperate for one this summer as well.

Umtiti would be a brilliant signing for Arsenal.

25-years-old, he is an athletic centre back who is naturally left sided. You can foresee him fitting in nicely alongside Sokratis in the short term.

The stumbling block however will be the fee.

Umtiti has been touted around at the £60million mark, which would take up the majority of Arsenal’s existing transfer kitty.

So how would Arsenal afford Umtiti whilst leaving enough money to buy a central midfielder, winger and a left back?

The easy answer is that they need to sell to be, and we have to sellable central defenders who could find themselves surplus to requirements were Umtiti to join.

The first is Shokdran Mustasfi.

The German international has had a tough time of late, with every error magnified online.

He is not as bad as some people make out, but he is not the level required for a starting central defender.

Unai Emery has been unable to drop him recently despite poor form. Injuries to Rob Holding, Laurent Koscielny and Kostadinos Mavropanos have left Arsenal with two fit central defenders.

With Sokratis set for a 2 match ban, Mustafi has a part to play in the run in.

Despite his poor recent form, Arsenal would still be able to command a decent fee for Mustafi.

He is not on huge wages (£90,000 per week) and would start for every team outside of the top 6. Were Everton, Wolves, Watford or Leicester to move for him, Arsenal could easily recoup £20million.

Umtiti should be seen as a direct replacement for Mustafi.

If Arsenal made the two deals, it would leave us with Umtiti, Sokratis, Holding, Koscielny and Mavropanos as out defensive options. It would give us strong cover.

The man not mentioned above is Calum Chambers, and he is another that Arsenal should cash in on.

Chambers is currently performing well at Fulham. Despite their struggles, he has been their shining light playing central midfield.

His good form has led for some Arsenal fans to call for his return, but his time at Arsenal is clearly up.

Chambers left on loan to Fulham having found himself behind Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding and Koscielny in the pecking order. He has since made a bit of a name for himself playing in the middle of the park for Fulham.

Were he to return he would still be 5th choice centre back at best (if we signed Umtiti) and would also be behind Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.

Taking into account how little game time Ainsley Maitland-Niles has had (in the middle of the park or Mohamed Elneny, Chambers would simply not play.

Due to his good form at Fulham, Arsenal would likely receive £20m+ for him.

Any of the promoted sides would snap him up, as well as the lower end Premier League teams. He would be an asset to all of them.

So were Arsenal to sell Chambers and Mustafi, we would raise over £40million, which would be 2/3s of Umtiti’s transfer fee. That would leave plenty more in the pot to improve elsewhere.

Maybe Arsenal should go in with £80million and snap up both Umtiti and Malcolm?

Going to be a big summer for Unai Emery.

Keenos

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Calum Chambers – Should he stay or should he go?

Watching the Fulham v Tottenham game at the weekend, the stand out performer dominating the middle of the park was Calum Chambers.

The on loan Arsenal man was one of the few outstanding players in a very poor Fulham team. It had many calling for his return to the club in the summer.

Chambers turned 24 a couple of days ago and signed a new 4-year-deal back in July last year.

After a good start to his Arsenal career, he has struggled to nail down a place in the squad. Fulham is his second loan deal after a year spent in Middlesbrough during their 2016/17 relegation season.

What should Arsenal do with the not-so-young-central defender?

Keep, replace Laurent Koscielny

Club captain Laurent Koscielny rolled back the years against Chelsea, but team is clearly running out for the old dog.

Most Arsenal fans want a strong, first choice centre back to partner Sokratis in the long term. We can all agree that Calum Chambers is not that man. Neither is Shkodran Mustafi. Rob Holding has arguably moved ahead of Koscielny, Mustafi and Chambers.

In 2019/20 Koscielny will be, at best, 4th choice centre back being Sokratis, Mustafi/replacement and Rob Holding. Could Calum Chambers return and be 4th choice central defender? Certainly.

Keep, replace Mohamed Elneny

At Fulham, Calum Chambers joined as a centre back but was soon moved to central midfield. It was in the middle of the park he ran the game for Fulham against Tottenham.

He was composed on the ball, short and long passing, as well as stopping Tottenham attacks at will. He was Man of the Match.

Arsenal’s current midfield options are Lucas Torreira, Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi, Mohamed Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Could Calum Chamber take Elneny’s place in the squad? Certainly.

Cover Hector Bellerin

Roll back to 2014 when Arsenal signed Chambers for £16million, he was a right back – having made 22 Premier League appearances for Southampton in 2013/14.

With Stephan Lichsteiner set to leave in the summer, and Hector Bellerin’s injury, we clearly need to address the right back situation next season.

Maitland-Niles is an option at right back, and will surely get his chance in the coming weeks and months. Could Calum Chambers provide cover to Hector Bellerin? Certainly.

All of the above

So he could be 4th choice centre back, 4th choice central midfielder and 2/3rd choice right back. Is this a role that he could play in one go, covering depending who is injured? Certainly.

Sell

The final option is sell.

After his string of performances, Arsenal could easily get £20million or more for a home grown, 24-year-old player.

At Premier League level who would be a regular starter for a mid-to-lower league team, or a newly promoted one.

You could see him fitting in at Derby County. He was heavily linked with a £16million move to Crystal Palace last season.

The likes of Bournemouth have spent big in January for players who are inferior to Chambers (£19milion for Dominic Solanke!). He would certainly get into their team, as well as Brighton and West Ham.

If we sold him, there would be no shortage of takers.

Arsenal have been awful at selling players in recent years. We have let over £200m worth of talent exit, getting little in return.

Imagine the scenario. We get £20million for Chambers; we also sell Mustafi. We could get in the region of £35million for a Premier League, international proven central defender. That is £55million bought in selling a central defender not currently in the squad, and one more that we can improve on.

That total could then go towards a new defender.

For £55million+ we could get a quality central defender. There are not too many defenders in the world that would be out of our reach.

You then have the new central defender, Sokratis, Holding, Koscielny and Mavropanos as the options.

Should we learn our lesson with Chambers. Cash in on a player who will never quite be good enough, and reinvest that elsewhere on someone that improves our first team without weakening the squad? Certainly.

I would keep all options on the table.

Keenos

2 IN; 3 OUT at Arsenal

With the transfer window slamming shut on Thursday, all has been quiet at Arsenal surrounding who is potentially coming in.

With the transfer window still be open throughout Europe until the end of the month, we will probably not see a mass exodus of players this week, however it will be the last chance for English clubs to bring anyone in.

In a surprising deal, it looks like Calum Chambers is set to join Fulham on a season long loan deal.

There was plenty of speculation that Chambers was going to join the West London club earlier in the summer. But a new contract and reports that Unai Emery was impressed in the Englishman seemed to quash that deal.

One of the few players to have played every game in pre-season, Chambers departure is very surprising, especially considering the long-term injury to Laurent Koscielny.

At the back end of last season, he was ahead of Rob Holding and Kostadinos Mavropanos, and this pre-season has played more minutes than the pair. He was clearly 3rd choice centre back, and also provided additional cover at right back.

He will be 24-years-old in January and has already had a season long loan deal to Middlesbrough. It just feels like a strange move. The only reasoning is that someone else is coming in.

Lucas Perez has been like a yoyo this summer. Early indications were that Emery was going to give him a second chance. He failed to start any of our 5 pre-season games

Both Emile Smith Rowe and Reiss Nelson started three games a-piece and looked good. Emery seems to have decided to give them more chances in the first team squad at the sacrifice of 29-year-old Perez.

Perez was not even in the match day squad for the games against Chelsea in Dublin or Lazio in Stockholm. He has been heavily linked with the latter (Lazio) and more recently West Ham.

Having been at the World Cup, David Ospina was already facing a handicap when it came to the battle with Petr Cech to be new signing Bernd Leno’s competition.

Leno stared 3 out of 5, with Cech starting the other two.

With Cech having one-year left on his contract, he seems content to stay in London where has been for 14 years and the city where his children have grown up, regardless of being number 2.

That leaves Ospina as the man most likely to leave.

He has been linked with a move to Turkey every since his second season with Arsenal; and it seems this year will be when it finally happens. Some outlets are reporting it is a loan deal, others a permanent deal. £2,000,000 the mooted feed.

The only logical reason for Chambers to be leaving is that we are going to make a last minute signing at centre back.

There has been massive speculation this morning that Arsenal are in for Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng.

Emery has been quoted a few times saying that “if something special becomes available, we will be in for him”. Could Boateng be that something special?

The reported £45million fee is relatively cheap in the current transfer market. Arsenal would be getting one of the best 5 centre backs in the world who, at 29-years-old, would add experience and power at the back.

The only concern would be his injury record. In the last few years, he has started to accrue a few muscle injuries.

He nearly missed the World Cup after a hamstring injury and did not look 100% during Germany’s early exit. He also suffered a hamstring injury in 2017, and has failed to play 20 Bundesliga games in the last 3 seasons.

Munich could be looking to cash in on someone who is broken, and will never be repaired. Alternatively Arsenal could end up with a top centre back with another 4 seasons in him.

There is also an outside chance that Arsenal could bring in Ousmane Dembele on loan, with the possibility of a permanent deal if Aaron Ramsey leaves.

Reports have claimed that the 21-year-old has been concerned over his role at Barcelona following the eclub’s decision to sign Brazilian winger Malcom from Bordeaux this summer.

Dembele has been heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal this summer as he still has a strong relationship with the Gunners’ head of recruitment Sven Mislintat, who he knows from his time at Dortmund. Last week, Dembele was also pictured having dinner with several members of Arsenal’s squad including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Reports from Spain are that Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has personally assured Ousmane Dembele that he still has a future at the club, goning out of his way to speak to the France international.

All in all, bar the Chambers deal going through today, it will likely be a quiet week for Arsenal, with Perez and Ospina set to move closer towards the end of August.

Keenos