Arsenal announced its fourth signing during this transfer window as spending now exceeds 50 million euros, as Calum Chambers from Southampton became their latest addition. Joining Chambers this year are David Ospina, a 3.2 million euro goalkeeper signing from Colombia, Alexis Sanchez a 3.2 million euro signing from Barcelona and Mathieu Debuchy, a 12 million euro transfer from Premier League rival Newcastle United.
Chambers calls his move “amazing,” viewing it as a great opportunity in joining a historic organization with a vaunted history. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of other Southampton players, like Alex Chamberlain, who also made the same transfer move. At only 19 years old, Chambers is looking for an opportunity to learn and grow in one of the English Premier League’s storied franchises.
Ospina has already signed a four-year contract and is expected to put pressure on incumbent goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. He will, however, begin the season as the team’s reserve goalie. Ospina impressed with his World Cup performance with Colombia. It was while he was playing for Nice, however, that Ospina first caught the eye of Gunner scouts.
Arsenal, finishing in fourth place last season, is making the transfer moves in hopes of moving up in the table. Exceeding the 50 million euro plateau in spending this summer marks a sizeable investment for the club. Hopes are running high, with nothing less than another Champions League appearance expected.
Mathieu Debuchy was signed to replace the departed Bacary Sagna, who joined league champions Manchester City. Chambers’ versatility will also help in filling that vacated right-back position.
Alexis Sanchez starred for Chile in the World Cup. He is capable of playing in a number of attacking positions for Arsenal. Coming from an extremely poor background, Sanchez has had to fight for much in his life. Playing most of his youth football on dirt streets, he will now take his talents to the Emirates.
The new faces of the team are expected to augment the existing roster. The heart and soul of Arsenal are the three German World Cup Winners, Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski, and Mesut Ozil. While Podolski played sparingly in Brazil, Mertesacker and Ozil were major contributors to the success of the German team.
Entering the summer transfer season, the Gunners had five needs to fill. They included a forward, right back, reserve goalkeeper, defensive cover and a holding midfielder. With their signings so far, they have filled four of those needs. There are still five weeks remaining before the summer transfer period ends.
By finishing fourth, Arsenal is forced to enter the Champions League playoffs that determine the competition’s final spots. As a seeded team, they will have an easier path to the tournament and are expected to be the fourth EPL team in addition to Manchester City, Chelsea, and Liverpool.
Arsenal is expecting another stellar season. Spending 50 million euros during the summer transfer window will set the bar for the team high. This team is built around young, established stars who are used to exceeding expectations. The Gunners will be very competitive this season with the new transfer weapons at their disposal.
Commentary by Hans Benes