If Southampton don’t already have a club mantra, few would be more appropriate than ‘every player has a price’.
After two solid seasons of rigid adherence to a policy based on what is generally just used as an expression for managers miffed at the loss of a star man, Saints, unsurprisingly, find themselves a bit short on numbers, especially in defence.
In an attempt to re-inflate their stocks, Ronald Koeman concocted a plan that involved bringing back a player they sold as part of an industrial-scale auction last summer in Calum Chambers.
A loan deal is what the St Mary’s club proposed, but Arsenal, who were forced to hand over £16m to sign the England international 12 months ago, rebuffed the bid.
Unless Southampton return with a sweeter deal, they’re going to have to look elsewhere for rearguard reinforcements, but refusing to lend Chambers to the south coast outfit is a foolish move from the Gunners.
It’s an opportunity for the 20-year-old to garner Premier League experience at no risk for Arsenal.
Frequently fielded at the start of last season, rookie Chambers was often exploited by savvy opponents, contributing to the north Londoners spilling plenty of points.
Here we have Southampton offering to give him the game time he needs to improve and to accept the ramifications associated with doing so.
The deal represents an opportunity for Arsenal to reduce the hefty sum they paid for the player in 2014.
While the intricacies of the deal haven’t been made public, it’s highly likely the £16m Chambers cost is comprised of achievement-related incentives.
One or two could be scrubbed out of the original deal in exchange for sending him back on loan for a year.
Arsenal’s defence is well stocked.
Both Mathieu Debuchy and Hector Bellerin are ahead of Chambers in the right-back pecking order, while Gabriel waits in the centre-back wings in case Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker sustains injury.
After losing out to Tottenham over Toby Alderweireld, the side rated 3/1 to finish in the top six have an opening in the heart of their defence which the fledgling Gunners star could fill if allowed out on loan.