Southampton’s bid to take Calum Chambers back from Arsenal has ended in failure, with the capital club refusing to sanction the deal.
The Gunners paid £16million for the versatile player last summer, and although he wasn’t expected to feature too much due to his relative inexperience, he made 36 appearances in all competitions. He impressed so much he even earned a promotion to the full England side, and he has now collected three caps under Roy Hodgson.
Given a full complement of defenders to choose from, Arsene Wenger would likely find it difficult to find a place in the side for Chambers. Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and possibly Gabriel Paulista are ahead of him for a place in the heart of the defence, with Mathieu Debuchy and Hector Bellerin blocking his route to right-back.
The 20-year-old has been earmarked by some as a holding midfielder of the future, and this is a position he could yet wind up in. But wherever he is used in the coming weeks and months he is likely to be donning the colours of Arsenal, who have rejected an approach from his former club to take him on loan for the duration of the season.
According to the Daily Mirror, Southampton are thought to have identified their former youth team player as the ideal replacement for Nathaniel Clyne, who has joined Liverpool. But with Cedric Soares and Cuco Martina signed this summer to compete at fullback, chances are Ronald Koeman had other ideas of where to use him.
One player Wenger has been prepared to loan out is Wojciech Szczesny. The Poland international lost his number one jersey to David Ospina last season, and may well have found himself third choice following the £11million arrival of Petr Cech. Instead, the 25-year-old will spend the coming season in Italy’s Serie A with AS Roma.