Arsenal: Karanka talks Chambers; Monreal on Lucas Perez; Flamini joins Palace
So much attention has been afforded to Jack Wilshere’s season-long loan move to Bournemouth, it is easy to forget that another Arsenal player also departed late in the window.
Calum Chambers moved north to Middlesbrough, where he will look to rebuild his confidence after a difficult spell at the Emirates.
He will spend this season on loan at the Riverside, and his new boss Aitor Karanka has spoken about his plans for the England international.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Karanka said: “I always try to get the best from every single player.”
“Sometimes in the market, you can find bargains and we were waiting right until the end of the window to get the right player. That was Calum.”
“I brought him here to help him because at the end of the season, the main thing is that we can stay in the Premier League and Calum can go back to Arsenal as a better player.”
“I think when you are his age you need to play to keep learning. I spoke with him and he understood the best thing for his career was to come here, and to keep growing. For that reason, I was really pleased. I knew he had a lot of offers.”
Chambers impressed Arsenal fans in his first few appearances after joining the club in the summer of 2014, including a particularly mature display at centre half in a tough Champions League play-off tie against Besiktas.
Tall and composed with ball at his feet (initially), Chambers cut an elegant presence at the heart of Arsenal’s defence and looked like a superb prospect.
However, a particularly chastening match away at Swansea in November 2014, where he played at right back and was torn apart by Jefferson Montero.
Chambers’ future will lie in the middle of the pitch, he has neither the pace nor the agility to play at full back, but he never seemed to regain Arsene Wenger’s trust after that day.
Elsewhere, Nacho Monreal has been speaking about how new singing and fellow Spaniard Lucas Perez and his surprise at how quickly he has settled.
Monreal said: “After having a few training sessions with him, I can say that I am very surprised with him.”
“He is a very good player and he will fit into the group nicely.”
“The language barrier is the first challenge a foreign player must face.”
“Fortunately for Lucas, he speaks a decent English and understands everything. The language barrier won´t be an issue for him.”
An interesting aspect of Arsenal’s business this summer is that they have recruited three club captains in the form of Perez, Shkodran Mustafi and Granit Xhaka.
Perez has had spells in Ukraine and Greece; this is by no means another Jose Antonio Reyes case of a green boy leaving his mother’s house for the first time.
Finally, former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has joined Crystal Palace on a free transfer after he was released by the Gunners at the end of last season.
Alan Pardew has said that Flamini will give the Eagles a ‘winning mentality’, and his commitment and vocal nature on the pitch will no doubt rouse Palace fans.
Remarkably, Flamini has never moved for a transfer fee in his entire career; Arsenal paid a compensation fee to Marseille in 2004 and all of his subsequent moves have been Bosmans.
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