Arsenal and Fulham have reached an agreement on a season-long loan for Calum Chambers. The move should be completed either later today or tomorrow pending finalization of personal terms and a medical. This will be Chambers’ second loan spell since joining Arsenal in 2014 — he spent the 2016-17 season at Middlesbrough.
Chambers signed a new four-year contract with the Gunners last month and appears to still be part of Unai Emery’s long term plans. The new manager is keen for Chambers to get regular Premier League playing time, which he might not get at the Emirates this season.
It may be telling that of Arsenal’s three young centerbacks (Chambers, Holding, and Mavropanos), Chambers is the one being loaned out. It suggests that he might be furthest down the depth chart. Of course, it could also be that of the three, Fulham wanted Chambers most.
Arsenal appear to be trimming their squad as the season approaches. Chuba Akpom was sold last week, Lucas Perez is likely on his way out, and Danny Welbeck has reportedly been told he can leave as well. The scuttlebutt has been that the club must sell to buy, so these moves could mean another purchase is in the offing. The Gunners were recently linked to Croatian centerback Domajog Vida; Chambers’ departure might make way for his arrival. That said, the squad was bloated as it was, and sales needed to happen regardless.
Sending Chambers out on loan is not without risk for Arsenal. The centerback pairing of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papasthapoulos has not exactly inspired confidence this preseason. Reducing the number of alternatives at centerback could prove problematic should that pairing continue to struggle.