Of all of Arsenal’s loanees to impress this season, Calum Chambers was an odd surprise.
The defender spent a second season out on loan away from north London, this time at Fulham, where the former Southampton prospect impressed massively for the west London side, making the move from centre-back to defensive midfielder for the Cottagers and being named their Player of the Season, and although the club suffered relegation to the Championship, Chambers was clearly enough of a rare bright spot to win that award.
The 24-year-old racked up some fairly impressive stats on the banks of the River Thames, doing well defensively, and with Arsenal needing to overhaul their squad this summer, the fact he penned a new long-term deal at the Emirates prior to leaving on loan would suggest the club see something in him. Well, so you’d think.
While you might look at Fulham’s defensive record and think its nigh-on impossible to impress, he averaged 2.1 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 3.5 clearances per 90 mins of Premier League action as per WhoScored. When you compare that to Shkodran Mustafi over the same period, the 3-cap England international actually looks fairly resolute. Yes, he had more to do and his side were attacked more often than the Gunners, but he did show a talent there.
However, this summer could surely be the time we see him make the move from north London on a permanent deal.
At 24, Chambers is past the point of being called a youngster, and in his seven seasons in professional football only now has the defender started to perform well in the Premier League, which could be useful for Arsenal in matters off the pitch.
With Arsenal thought to be fairly strapped for cash (the Daily Mail reported a fairly meagre £45m transfer budget back in February) and in need of quality additions, Chambers is a fairly disposable player to be sold to increase funds in the transfer budget after such a successful season with Fulham.
Chambers has proven this season to be capable of playing in the Premier League, and although the defender is valued on Transfermarkt at £12.6 million, Arsenal could perhaps fetch a decent fee for the 24-year-old, whose contract doesn’t expire until 2022, which might be money well earned for the Gunners. If you were looking at his recently-signed contract we mentioned earlier cynically, you could argue that the club have only done that to command a bigger fee in the market.
Clearly, that’s only a theory, but think of the premium placed upon British players.
His performances last season, as well as the length of time left on his deal, could really help Arsenal if they were to sell him to try and fund their own rebuild.
Arsenal fans, should the club sell Chambers this summer? Let us know!