Arsenal have sold Calum Chambers to Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee. Per reports, that undisclosed fee is a whopping zero pounds, although the Gunners will save about £2M in salary. Chambers contract was expiring at the end of the season, although it was my understanding that the Gunners held a one-year option to extend. Chambers joined the club in 2014 for £16M after spending his youth career with and making his senior debut at Southampton.
It’s pretty impressive that this move came off without any rumors making it to the press. That almost never happens these days.
Selling Chambers leaves the Gunners with Takehiro Tomiyasu backed up by Cedric and Ben White at right back. That’s not great depth but is probably enough to get through the remaining 17 matches this season. I’d expect the team to sign a younger, more long-term backup (Tyler Adams anybody?!) in the summer window.
The move makes Mohamed Elneny the longest-tenured player on the team. Hector Bellerin has been at Arsenal longer, but he’s currently on loan at Real Betis and will likely be sold in the summer. And with Bellerin on loan, there is nobody on the current roster who won the FA Cup with the club in 2015 — an entire roster turnover in approximately 6 seasons.
Chambers never really lived up to his potential at Arsenal. When he arrived at the club, he was on the fringes of the England squad, making three appearances for the national team in 2014. He struggled to seize a regular starting role in North London, in part because he was behind a pre-injury Hector Bellerin at right back and Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the middle. Like Rob Holding, Chambers seemed to get hurt whenever he was beginning to find a run of form, most recently tearing his ACL in December 2019.
Best of luck at Aston Villa, Calum. Just maybe not on March 19th when the Gunners visit Villa Park.