Wenger justifies Chambers gamble
Published 28/07/2014 | 08:24
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is prepared to take a "gamble" by signing teenage defender Calum Chambers from Southampton.
The 19-year-old full-back, who has only made 18 Barclays Premier League starts, has reportedly agreed personal terms to join the Gunners and has completed a medical, with the move expected to be announced on Monday.
The compensation heading back to Southampton is estimated to be around £16million and, while Wenger understands the size of the fee may be surprising, he is confident Chambers will justify the outlay with his versatility.
Wenger told several national newspapers: "He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield. I hope he will give us competition for the players in these 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 would act as a deputy to France international Mathieu Debuchy, a recent arrival from Newcastle, while Carl Jenkinson remains an alternative option at right-back for the north London club.
Southampton are experiencing a summer of change with Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren all departing for Liverpool and teenage left-back Luke Shaw joining Manchester United. Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino has swapped the Saints for Tottenham, with Dutch coach Ronald Koeman replacing him at St Mary's.