ARSENAL HAVE ANNOUNCED the signing of Calum Chambers from Southampton.
The 19-year-old defender joins the Gunners for a fee reportedly in the region of £16m and is the latest departure from a Southampton squad which has already been stripped of the likes of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Devan Lovren and Luke Shaw this summer.
Chambers said: “I am so happy to be signing for Arsenal. They are a team I have much admired for their playing style, and a team who have been one of the top sides in Europe for many years.
“I’m looking forward to joining up with my new team-mates today and beginning preparation for the season ahead.
“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone at Southampton FC for everything they have done for me and for making this move possible.”
Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger is confident that Chambers is a “gamble” that will pay dividends.
Arsenal have been pro-active in the transfer market this close-season with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina having joined, but Chambers will provide defensive cover after Bacary Sagna left for Manchester City and doubts remain over Thomas Vermaelen’s future.
Chambers has made just 18 Premier League starts but Wenger is confident the 19-year-old defender will prove valuable business because of his versatility.
He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield,” Wenger said. ”I hope he will give us competition for the players in those 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.”
Elsewhere, Wenger confirmed that Alexis will miss a pre-season trip to Austria to sort out his visa.
“I don’t think Sanchez will come to Austria because he has to go to Paris to get a visa,” he added. “So he will only go to [Arsenal's training base] London Colney on Tuesday and we come back on Thursday, so he will work in London.”