Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits his £16million move for Southampton’s Calum Chambers is “very expensive” but insists the 19-year-old has the potential and versatility to be a star at the Emirates Stadium.
Chambers, who came through the youth ranks at Southampton, has agreed personal terms with the Gunners and could be announced as their fourth signing of the summer on Monday.
The England youth international – who can play in defence and midfield – has made just 18 Premier League starts for Saints, but Wenger is confident he’s ready for a step up.
“He hasn’t played many games but the English players on the market in England are very expensive,” Wenger told reporters after Arsenal’s 1-0 friendly defeat to New York Red Bulls.
“At the end of the day I was ready to take a gamble because he is a one for the future.
“He is a player I wanted because I rated his quality and intelligence. He is only 19 and can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield.
“I hope he will give us competition for the players in those three positions.”
The Gunners have already signed Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and goalkeeper David Ospina this summer as they look to build on last year’s FA Cup success.