Arsenal may well have some purchases to make, but they also have a few sales to make too.
Player names are continually being linked to the club and plenty of them are defenders – the area most in need of scrutiny and new blood.
But a look at the head count in that area in terms of the squad will tell you that the numbers don’t add up.
David Luiz, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari and William Saliba.
That’s seven central defenders. With Gabriel Magalhaes incoming – or supposedly – that would make eight.
That signifies that there going to be outgoings – and it is an area of debate amongst Gooner circles as to who will be heading for the exit door.
One name who is the most likely to leave is Sokratis, with the Greek defender being heavily linked with Napoli.
David Luiz has been linked with Rennes in recent days, but a recent one-year extension means that the veteran Brazilian is probably staying.
Then we come to our English contingent – Bobby H and Calum C.
The opinion is pretty split as to who will stay and who will go – but it looks increasingly likely that one will depart.
The noises coming from news sources is that Chambers is the nearest to leaving, with newly-promoted Fulham – the team Chambers won the Player of the Year with two years ago – in the hunt for him.
But I’m here to say that out of the two, Chambers should be the one that stays.
Consider the recently finished season.
Holding had fallen down the pecking order due to injury and when he eventually returns, only injury allows him to play – and his performances were solid, if a little unspectacular. Especially when you compare his displays to his defensive partner at the time – David Luiz.
Holding has not grown since his breakthrough back in 2016/17. He is now 25 and while defenders reach their peak a little later, Holding hasn’t quite grasped the top level consistently to give any indicator that he will do so in the future.
Calum Chambers also had a fight on his hands to get anywhere near a first team start. But Emery and then Freddie Ljungberg both selected Chambers regularly ahead of his more experienced teammates.
The result? Chambers was arguably our best player – certainly our best defender – in the first half of the season.
Injury cruelly curtailed his campaign, but Chambers at least showed that he is capable of hitting top displays week in, week out. His loan spells have toughened him, and his versatility – he can play as a DM or at RB – mean another advantage over Holding.
I’m not here to say Holding isn’t good enough.
This article is merely pointing out that we need to sell some defenders – and out of Holding and Chambers – Chambers is the one we should keep.
What do you think?