Fulham have confirmed the signing of England international defender Calum Chambers from Arsenal on a season-long loan this evening.
The 23 year-old was one of the newly-promoted club’s first targets but they couldn’t meet Arsenal’s £23m valuation to secure a permanent deal. The former Southampton centre back joins on loan instead, just a few weeks after signing a new four-year contract with the Gunners, and media reports suggest that he has been promised regular first-team football at Craven Cottage.
Slavisa Jokanovic was keen to draft in extra defensive reinforcements given that new signing Alfie Mawson is likely to miss the first month of the new season after undergoing knee surgery earlier this summer. The Whites will also be without the suspended Denis Odoi for the first two games of the season, so it is entirely possible that Chambers will make his Fulham debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
The versatile defender, who can also play at right back or in midfield, came through Southampton’s academy and made his professional debut for the Saints at the age of 17. His mature displays in the 2013/2014 season, which included 22 Premier League appearances, earned him a big-money to Arsenal, where he has played 83 games and won the FA Cup in 2015.
Chambers told Fulham’s official website this evening:
I’m really excited. I watched a lot of Fulham last season, I really like the way they play football, there’s a good manager, it’s a great club, so I’m really excited for the season ahead. Everyone can see that Fulham’s a club that likes to play football, play football from the back, through the lines. That’s the style of football I like as well, so I think it fits me and suits the way I play.
Fulham’s head of football of operations, Tony Khan, said:
I’m very pleased to announce that Calum Chambers has joined Fulham Football Club on loan. Calum is a versatile defender with Premier League experience, and the combination of his strong data profile and the positive reports from our scouting department confirm that he’s a tremendous talent. We fully expect Calum to contribute and are very happy to welcome him to our squad.