Arsenal’s summer clearout continues apace today, with news that Calum Chambers will likely be sold to Crystal Palace soon. Arsenal value Cal at £25 million and Palace have offered £16M, but both sides appear to think a deal can still be made.
Chambers never quite made the impact we all wanted him to at Arsenal, largely because of the ascendancy of Hector Bellerin. After scoring a goal on opening day last year against Liverpool, Chambers was loaned to Middlesbrough at the end of the window, where he made 24 starts and played reasonably well.
This is the latest in a series of moves designed, it seems, to free up money to re-sign Alexis and/or Özil, but it’s also somewhat puzzling to offload a solid-but-not-amazing depth piece that is arguably a better option than Gabriel, who is still around and will now presumably become that first choice depth. Cal is an England youth international, and probably wanted more regular playing time to cement his status on the international front. Also: Arsenal’s defensive corps is aging - Kos and Nacho are over 30, Per’s 87 and retiring after the season. Why shed a half decent 23 year old defender?
This move doesn’t rise to outraged, fire-up-the-flaming-pitchforks levels for me, because the playing career of Calum Chambers up to this point has been basically a living shrug emoji. But his career has a better upside than Gabriel, I think, so it is a strange move, one in a series of strange moves this summer that is setting (or reinforcing?) a pattern that I don’t really love.
Anyway, good luck to you, Hollister Cal, wherever you may go.