Southampton are kicking off their transfer activity this summer with two deal lined up, including a move for an Arsenal defender looking for more game time.
The first player Southampton have entered talks to sign is Arsenal’s Calum Chambers, on a loan deal. Chambers previously played for Southampton but joined the Gunners in a £14million deal in 2014. Since then he has shown glimpses of quality but his first team exposure has been limited. Now Arsene Wenger is reportedly planning to sign another central defender this summer and that would leave Chambers as 5th choice, should all the remaining defenders stay at the club.
The 21-year-old has quality and was recently named in the Toulon team of the tournament following his success with the England under-21’s. There is increasing concern over the form of Jose Fonte and Chambers could replace or rotate with him next season. The presence of European football makes the need for another central defender more pressing. That makes Chambers’ versatility all the more appealing, a player who has experience as a central defender, right back and defensive midfielder would be very useful for squad purposes although Arsenal are likely to seek first team assurances should they loan him to Southampton.
That may also explain the interest in Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Semedo, who Southampton are reportedly planning a £12million bid for. Like Chambers, Semedo can play as a central defender or as a defensive midfielder. He’s also young (22) and Southampton are reportedly looking to sign him permanently. Whilst Arsenal are willing to loan Chambers, Sporting Lisbon are unlikely to sanction the sale of Semedo this summer, and they have no reason too. The Portuguese youngster signed a six-year contract earlier this season which included a £35million release clause. It is often the case that Portuguese clubs point to the players release clauses when suitors come knocking, but in this case Southampton won’t be interested at anywhere near that price.
Sporting managed to win 13 of 14 games since Semedo returned from loan and broke into the starting line-up. Unlike Chambers who has been capped 3 times for England, Semedo is yet to receive a senior international cap, although one is likely to arrive in the near future should he continue his current form into next season.
It may be a case of if Ronald Koeman can’t sign Semedo they will turn to the easier option of loaning Chambers, who is being actively offered to Premier League clubs for a loan deal by Arsenal. The benefits of loaning Chambers is he knows the league, the country and the club well. Signing Semedo on the other hand is likely to have more long-term benefits, as any deal is likely to be permanent.
Any new signings will have to most likely wait until Koeman’s future is cleared up, with Everton still hoping to convince him to join Goodison Park.