Arsenal are reportedly willing to allow 20-year-old defender Calum Chambers to go out on loan to former club Southampton in January for the rest of the season.
According to The Sun, the north London club will sanction the deal as long as Mathieu Debuchy is not sold in the upcoming transfer window.
However, coming as it does at a juncture in the campaign when the Gunners are doing incredibly well to lay down a credible title challenge in spite of a welter of injuries to key personnel, allowing the youngster to leave seems reckless.
Either that, or the Gunners, who became 17/20 favourites to win the Premier League in the wake of their victory over Manchester City, are planning to bring in a player capable of covering the multiple areas the young Englishman operated in during his time at the club…
Having been deployed at right-back, centre-half and occasionally defensive midfield over this season and the last, Chambers could yet prove a useful man to have around down the stretch.
Mathieu Flamini is Arsenal’s only fit defensively-minded engine-room operative at present, while the injury-prone Debuchy is sole cover for Hector Bellerin.
Allowing him to depart could quickly lead to the club becoming exposed in one or other area and would have to rate a particularly devil-may-care move in a season when the title has seldom looked more winnable.
Hence, the suspicion that the Gunners could be pondering some January incomings themselves.
Centre-midfield would have to rate the most obvious area for improvement, having been decimated by injuries to Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin, for all Flamini an Aaron Ramsey have covered manfully.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Granit Xhaka, William Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon and Bayer Leverkusen man Lars Bender have all long been linked with a move to the Emirates.
Might the decision to allow Chambers to go out on loan be indicative that a move for one of them is just around the corner?