According to reports coming from the Telegraph late on Monday evening, Crystal Palace have reportedly submitted a £16 million bid to bring Arsenal defender Calum Chambers to Selhurst Park.
The 22-year-old has struggled to break into Arsene Wenger’s team in recent seasons, falling below fellow youngster Rob Holding in the pecking order, and it is thought he could be keen on the switch.
Chambers spent last season on-loan with relegated Middlesbrough, making 24 Premier League appearances, and he impressed enough to alert the attention of Palace’s new boss Frank de Boer.
What would Chambers bring to Selhurst Park?
After being a Premier League player for four years now, since his breakthrough season with Southampton in 2013-14, it is easy to forget that Chambers is still only young at 22 years of age.
Moving to a club as big as Arsenal, at just 19, shows just how much potential that the youngster had – and still does have – and he may now have to take a different route to the top.
Despite falling out of the picture at the Emirates in recent years he still has the education and the experience of playing for the Gunners – 59 times in all – and this could be priceless at Selhurst Park.
One place where the Eagles really struggled last season was with how leaky and fragile their back-line was, conceding the sixth-most (63) goals last season, and it was only with the late-season arrival of Mamadou Sakho that their fortunes turned and they managed to easy away from a relegation battle.
They can ill-afford to have as woeful an opening to next season though, and it is clear that De Boer is looking to Chambers to provide much-needed experience and composure that comes with playing for a team like Arsenal. Even at 22 years of age, he could become a big leader and kick-start his career.
Perhaps more than anything, Chambers’ versatility across the back-four would be one of the main selling points, as far as De Boer is concerned, with a natural ability to play centrally or as a right-back.
Whichever position he plays he looks more than comfortable, and a lot of that is down to the highly-intelligent footballing brain that he has – he is very clever at reading the game and making decisions.
Whether that be to step out of the defensive line and intercept a pass, dive whole-heartedly into challenges or move to cover his fellow defenders, it is clear in his play that he is constantly thinking.
And, after a successful summer playing for England’s Under-21 side in the European Championships, impressing with his consistency and discipline alongside Alfie Mawson, he is in a decent run of form.
Although Crystal Palace fans would have been crying out for Sakho to return permanently, Liverpool’s £30 million asking price – as per the Evening Standard – has all-but priced them out of making a move.
Nonetheless, with first-team football unlikely for Chambers next season at the Emirates, and with De Boer evidently keen on improving his defence, a £16 million switch could prove to be a useful acquisition.