Arsenal could dip into the transfer market for defensive reinforcements this month following confirmation from the club that Calum Chambers will miss the rest of the season as a result of rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the recent clash with Chelsea.
Chambers was forced off during the first half of the defeat to the Gunners’ cross-London rivals and has now undergone successful surgery. The club estimates his recovery will last between six and nine months, which rules him out until at least June and perhaps until September.
Having been on loan at Fulham in 2018/19, the 24-year-old had been an important squad player during the first half of the campaign and had played 18 games in all competitions.
His lengthy absence therefore comes as a major blow to Arsenal, especially as the versatile Chambers has been operating at both right-back and centre-back.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsenal have a number of potential defensive targets on their radar. Chambers’ injury is set to force the club’s hand in the transfer market, taking over the pursuit of a new midfielder as the main January priority.
The Telegraph names RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake and Juventus’ Daniele Rugani as versatile targets that are of particular interest.
Upamencano has been linked with the Gunners for a while and has also been mentioned in conjunction with Manchester City. The 21-year-old Frenchman is a product of the Red Bull development system, having previously been schooled at Red Bull Salzburg.
Ake comes with the added bonus of being proven in the Premier League. The Netherlands international was under contract at Chelsea for many years, but has thrived since moving to Bournemouth – his former club is also said to be interested in taking him back.
Rugani was heavily linked with Chelsea in 2018 and was also a rumoured target for Arsenal ahead of this season. At 25 years of age, he will be desperate to play regular first-team football, but has had even fewer chances at Juventus this season than in the past.