Friday, 12 August 2011

Anzhi Makhachkala – Samuel Eto'o's New Destination

With one of the world’s best strikers set to move to one of the most obscure football clubs in the Europe, for an absolute shed load of money I might add, a sum in which would make even Carlos Tevez blush. Samuel Eto’o is all set for a £30 million transfer to Anzhi Makhachkala, where he will earn wages of a rumoured £330,000 a week.

With all the financial madness in the game today, Manchester City owned by the brother of Abu Dhabi ruler; Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan who has an estimated worth of £555 billion. Malaga, owned by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Abdullah Al Ahmed Al Thani, has undisclosed wealth and member of the Qatari royal family. Paris Saint Germain, who just this week completed the £37 million signing of Javier Pastore ahead of English giants Chelsea, have similar Middle Eastern financial backing as Malaga, with 70% of the club owned by the Qatari Investment Authority who also have ties to the Malaga owners. Show's that financial super powers are no longer the big names we are used to.

As for Anzhi Makhachkala, they were founded only twenty years ago in 1991 and have spent a majority of time during professional existence in Russia’s first division, the second tier of Russian football, before returning to the Premier League in 2009 after a seven year hiatus. They’ve now consolidated their position in the Russia’s top flight, and in January of this year, a major revolution took place at the Dagestan based club.

Russian businessman Suleyman Abusaidovich Kerimov, listed number 118th on Forbes list of the Worlds’ Billionaires, purchased the football club and has a personal net worth of US$7.8 billion. A month later, the clubs first major signing was then 37 year old Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos. He signed a two-and-a-half year deal, where he is to earn approximately €10 million. He is currently Anzhi’s club captain.

Current players on the books include Brazilian striker Diego Tardelli, who was once one of Brazil’s most promising forwards, joined from Athletico Miniero for a €7.5 million in March of this year, making himself the fourth Brazilian at the club.

Another interesting note is that Anzhi clubs stadium only a capacity of 11,600.

Some of the more recent signings include former Chelsea midfielder Yuri Zhirkov, who has 44 caps for Russia, joined for £13.2 million and signed a four year contract worth €5.5 million annually. Also former PSV forward and Hungarian international Balázs Dzsudzsák joined for €14 million where he will earn £2.5 million a year, for five years.

Big money moves, with a few well known names in European and World football have joined the club, but these will all be eclipsed by the blockbuster move for Cameroonian captain Samuel Eto’o. Inter have been offered €40 million for the 30 year old, offering Eto’o wages of £330,000 a week. But before Eto’o signs for Anzhi, there are serious concerns whether this is the right move for the striker, and many people are sceptical and believe it’s not right for someone who has been subject to racial abuse in his career, something which club captain Roberto Carlos suffered recently. Is this the sort of haven Eto’o would like to reach the twilight of his career in?

These concerns regarding racism in Russian football, with no better example than this video that surfaced a few months ago of Anzhi player (and captain) Roberto Carlos being racially abused during a match against Zenit St. Petersburg and Krylia Sovetov Samara where banana’s were waved at him and at the latter, thrown at him. West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie was the subject of racism in Russia, the striker was subject to racist abuse while playing at for Lokomotiv Moscow.

Eto’o would argue why he should care about the prospect of racism, after he was racially abused during his time at both Inter Milan in Italy, and while playing for FC Barcelona in Spain. It must obviously faze him, and Eto’o would respond by saying he’s here to play football, and may even brush it off as somewhat idiotic and ignorant people, but it is not at all excusable. Racism in UK football is nonexistent as it was back in the 1970’s, and it’s met with shock and anger when reported in this country, but the proof is there, that it still pops up in different corners of European football.

This is a factor Eto’s would have to consider, and considering how upset he was after this incident against Real Zaragoza, shows that he is human and is deeply affected by such abuse. This is of course is a blog post about who Anzhi are, and not racism in football, but with Eto’o expecting to be a marquee signing, racism is something I had to discuss and make it clear to football fans reading, that this is something which has been displayed by their fans.

Whether Samuel Eto’o signs, and fancies himself a new challenge is yet to be confirmed, it is however widely expected to be a done deal next week. This could see a shift in power from Western European to Eastern European football. Clubs in Russia and Ukraine have always had money, but have struggled to bring big big names, and more importantly players in their prime. Eto’o may be 30 years old, but he scored 37 goals in 53 appearances last season, and is by no means past his best. This will be a massive move for this ambitious Russian side, and will surely open the path to other international stars that can persuaded by the big funds offered by clubs outside of the top three leagues in European football. One thing’s for certain, with Malaga, Paris Saint Germain and now Anzhi Makhachkala bankrolled by major financial sources, how long will it be before traditional clubs fall away unable to compete with the financial leaders and more importantly how will UEFA level the playing field?

Real Talk Football

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Manchester United

Manchester United

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Captain: Nemanja Vidic

Last Season: 1st


David De Gea – Athletico Madrid – £17.6 million
Phil Jones – Blackburn – £17.6 million
Ashley Young – Aston Villa - £15.8 million


John O’Shea – Sunderland – £4 million
Wes Brown – Sunderland – £1.3 million
Bébé – Besiktas – £880,000
Paul Scholes – Retirement
Edwin Van Der Sar – Retirement
Owen Hargreaves – Free

This Season:

Manchester United was “weaker” last season, and it wasn’t one of Sir Alex Ferguson's “strongest sides” but they still won that coverted 19th league title, knocking Liverpool “off their perch”. That side who was led by the talismanic Wayne Rooney, who was abject before Christmas, but transformed his form at the turn of the year scoring vital times against noisy neighbours, as well as that elegant hat trick against West Ham were the stand out moment of his season. Defensive rock Nemanja Vidic also led the list of plaudits, and the vastly improving Nani, who hit 10 goals and got 15 assists last season, as well as the brilliant Edwin Van Der Sar all contributed to Manchester United claiming that symbolic 19th league title.

Javier Hernandez was another stand out name who had a fantastic season last year, and now with the addition of winger Ashley Young, who has already shown he's hungry for success, and United’s future defensive pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling (the latter who has been filling in at right back and doing a great job) along with the returning Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly from successful loan spells, not only do Manchester United have quality new additions, but have strength in depth to add to the abundance of youth at the club. De Gea, and Welbeck, 20, Smalling, Cleverly, Fabio and Rafael, all 21, Anderson, Hernandez, both 23, and Nani, aged just 24 shows that the future certainly is bright for Manchester United.

That blend of experience and youth, pace, power and ability will lead Manchester United to the front of the pack, leaving the others in their wake. A strong Champions League challenge has become the norm, while I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson would like to get his hands on the FA Cup trophy. They are Real Talk Football’s favourites for the title, but will have a long tough season ahead.

Prediction: 1st

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Tom Cleverly

Is it more of the season for Manchester United this season? How will they fair against the new City challenge? Leave a comment below

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Manchester City

Manchester City

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Captain: Vincent Kompany

Last Season: 3rd


Kun Aguero – Athletico Madrid – £39.6 million
Stefan Savic – Partizan Belgrade – £10.5 million
Gael Clichy – Arsenal – £6.9 million


Jerome Boateng – Bayern Munich – £11.9 million
Shay Given – Aston Villa - £3.3 million
Felipe Caicedo – Levante – £880,000
Michael Johnson – Leicester – Loan
Jo – Internacional – Free

This Season:

Well, where to start, the oil rich blue side of Manchester have brought in one of the best forwards in the world in Sergio Aguero to replace the frustrated Carlos Tevez. As I write this, Tevez is still on the books at Man City, and he’s going to have to sit it out until January at least.

Roberto Mancini achieved his objectives from last season, winning the FA Cup, ascertaining third place in the Premiership, and subsequently gaining Champions League qualification. Now it’s time for them to kick on and mount a serious challenge for the title. They have the most money in the league, they have arguably the best squad in the league, but this is my major sticking point, I do not believe they have the best team in the league, and this could hinder their progress. Unhappy, tantrum throwing players and in fighting could all damage Man City’s shot of winning their first Premiership title. Carlos Tevez pretty much hates Manchester, Adam Johnson isn’t happy warming the bench, Jerome Boateng wanted out and subsequently got his wish, and Mancini has shown this preseason that he still hasn’t tamed the enigmatic and wild Mario Balotelli. Last season saw fights in training, off the field drug bans and all sorts of madness, yet City still managed to achieve their objectives!

Anyhow, should Tevez should, there is a big hole up front. Considering a team with so much quality, he and Yaya Toure carried the City team at times last season. David Silva was brilliant in spells, while Vincent Kompany’s fantastic consistency and excellent defending saw him considered one of the best defenders in the league. Balotelli, Sergio Aguero and James Milner will all need to step up this season and take City to the next level.

Before watching the Community Shield, I had Manchester City as my favourite for the Premiership. But after seeing that Manchester United have just as much, if not more strength in depth as Manchester City, I now have the Red Devils as favourites. Manchester City will have to deal with the Champions League campaign which will ultimately take its toll on their Premier League campaign, and it will be interesting considering how lacklustre they were in the Europa League last year.
For me, a strong Champions League campaign, Premiership runners-up and a strong FA Cup challenge. Transitional yet hugely impressive season lies ahead for the blue half of Manchester.

Prediction: 2nd

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Sergio Aguero

Can Man City challenge for the title? How do you think they will do in the Champions League? Leave a comment below

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Liverpool


Manager: Kenny Dalglish

Captain: Steven Gerrard

Last Season: 6th


Stewart Downing – Aston Villa – £20 million
Jordan Henderson – Sunderland – £15.8 million
Charlie Adam – Blackpool – £7.4 million
Doni – Roma - Free


Paul Konchesky – Leicster - £1.5 million
Peter Gulacsi – Hull City – Free
Stephan Darby – Rochdale – Free Transfer

This Season:

They’ve made big money signings, but all in the same area of the pitch. This seems to be the underlying feel to Liverpool's summer. They have had a poor preseason, and news that both Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard will miss the start of the season, no one will be to surprised if Liverpool's confidence is a bit low at the moment. It's up to the Anfield faithful to raise the players, and demand a strong season from the club.

There is still lots of “deadwood” in that midfield, so I wonder how big Liverpool’s wage budget actually is. Kudos to Dalglish however, for getting the ludicrously overpaid Milan Jovanovic off the books and sent him packing to Belgium. I think Kenny Dalglish should have strengthened defensively, while injury prone defenders such as Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel could’ve been replaced, but the manager clearly believes they’re the right men for the club.

I expect Luis Suarez to have a big season for Liverpool, he has been in blistering form this summer and was instrumental in Urugauy's Copa America win. A fully fit Andy Carroll has to start scoring goals to pay off the big £35 million price tag, while Alberto Aquilani will have a point to prove (should he get the opportunity) or he could be heading back to Italy, with Fiorentina heading up the possible list of suitors.

I still believe there best XI is the side that finished last season, with Charlie Adam filling in when Steven Gerrard is injured. It’ll be interested to see where Stewart Downing fits in, and how much Jordan Henderson will play. Liverpool have continued their recent trend of paying over the odds for English players, so it remains to be seen how long it will take for them to gel together and for Liverpool to gain some much needed consistency. I do however, see them competing for a top six place.

Prediction: 6th

Best Starting XI:

One to watch this season: Jordan Henderson

How do you think Liverpool will get on this season? Leave a comment below

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Fulham


Manager: Martin Jol

Captain: Danny Murphy

Last Season: 8th


Pajtim Kasami – Palermo – £3.3 million
John Arne Riise – AS Roma – £2.4 million
Marcel Gecov – Slovan Liberec – £704,000
Csaba Somgyi – Rakospalota – Free


Kagisho Dikgacoi – Crystal Palace - £590,000
Jonathan Greening – Nottingham Forrest - £616,000
Diomansy Kamara – Eskisehirspor – Free
Eddie Johnson – Free
Zoltán Gera – Free

This Season:

Fulham have a new man in charge; Martin Jol, who was clubs first choice before Mark Hughes came in, who ended resigning after doing his mandatory one season in charge before attempting to manufacture a move to Aston Villa job. He was ultimately not offered the job, and is unemployed and will be watching the Premiership just like everyone else from the comfort of their sofa.

Fulham have brought in some new signings to freshen up the squad and will look to match last season 8th place finish. A long Europa League qualifying will impact on their Premiership finish, that’s why I have them slipping into the bottom half. The core of the squad is still there, and with a fully fit Bobby Zamora and Clint Dempsey, going forward Fulham should be look to the Carling Cup and Europa League as their best opportunities for trophies.

New signing Pajtim Kasami is a 19 year old promising defender who impressed at the European U21 Championships for Switzerland, and he joins from Italian side Palermo. Old face and Liverpool cult player John Arne Riise returns to the Premiership after spending three years in Italian capital.

Prediction: 12th

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Pajtim Kasami

How do you think Fulham will do this season? Leave a comment below

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Everton


Manager: David Moyes

Captain: Phil Neville

Last Season: 7th


Eric Drier – Sporting Lisbon – Loan


James Vaughan – Norwich – £2 million
Iain Turner – Preston – Free

This Season:

Another tough season ahead for Everton, but that seems to always be the case every season for Evertonians. Notoriously slow starters, and industriously strong finishers, David Moyes know’s that they cannot afford more of the same and need to develop consistency from the get go. This Everton team is based on hard work, which tough defence and quality attack aspects further up the pitch.

No key signings as yet, with David Moyes having one of the smaller transfer budgets in the league, he knows full well the club have to sell before they can buy. Phil Jagielka is the only name being linked with a move, with Arsenal the main protagonists for the England international defender, however the £12 million offered wasn’t even considered by the Toffees.

Everton know that their weakness is scoring goals; they don’t have an out and out striker, while Jermaine Beckford and Tim Cahill were the clubs joint top goal scorers last season hitting 10 goals each. Louis Saha must try to complete a full season, while the Cahill/Saha combination, with Beckford coming from the bench will most likely game plan for Moyes this season.

This close knit squad cannot afford any major injuries, and with captain Phil Neville boosting the club by saying he expects to play for another two seasons, Everton can achieve a top 10 finish and push for a Europa League place should they keep hold of their key players in the remaining three weeks of the transfer window.

Prediction: 8th

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Mugaye Gueye

How do you think Everton will do this season, leave your comment below

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Chelsea


Manager: Andres Villas-Boas

Captain: John Terry

Last Season: 2nd


Romelu Lukaku - Anderlecht - £20 million
Lucas Piazon – Sao Paulo – £6.6 million
Thibaut Courtois – KRC Genk – £7.9 million
Oriel Romeu – FC Barcelona – £4.5 million


Nemanja Matic – Benfica – £4.4 million
Michael Mancienne – Hamburger SV – £2.2 million
Fabio Borini – Parma – Hamburger SV – Free
Jeffrey Bruma – Hamburger – Hamburger SV – £440,000
Jack Cork – £740,000 – Southampton
Thibaut Courtois – Athletico Madrid – Loan

This Season:

New boss Andres Villas-Boas has an interesting task on his hands at Chelsea, he has to get the side playing exciting football, he has to deal with the white elephant that is Fernando Torres, and most importantly; he must get Chelsea a trophy (preferably the Champions League). All these tasks will require Chelsea to hit the ground running in their opening Premier League away to Stoke.

This preseason has given a good indication to where the West London club, no marquee signings so far although Romelu Lukaku is set to join, but being outbid by Paris Saint Germain for much needed playmaker Javier Pastore, and Luka Modric not too fussed whether Abramovich cough’s up the fee for him or not, you wonder where this injection of youth and excitement will come from within the Chelsea ranks. With just three weeks left of the transfer window, expect a push for Modric, as he only seems to be there main target.

The 4-3-3 formation will return, while I fully expect Daniel Sturridge to have a great season. Abramovich will expect Villas-Boas to get the best out of the Fernando Torres, while keeping Didier Drogba happy. Defensively, Chelsea are still fantastic, but the midfield leaves a lot to be desired. They need a playmaker in that midfield, maybe incorporate Josh McEachran into the first team, and see how he develops. With Jon Obi Mikel not impressing, and Michael Essien injured (again) new Barcelona recruit Oriol Romeu may get his run in the Chelsea first team sooner rather than later.

You can read more on Chelsea's new boss here, and their now signings; here.

The Chelsea winning machine will grind on, and be the main source of competition in all four competitions. I don’t think they have enough strength in depth to win the Champions League, but none the less they will look to win a trophy after finishing last season empty handed.

Prediction: 3rd

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Daniel Sturridge

How do you think Chelsea will do this season? Leave your comment below

Monday, 8 August 2011

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Blackburn

Blackburn Rovers

Manager: Steve Kean

Captain: Ryan Nelsen

Last Season: 15th


David Goodwillie – Dundee United – £2.8 million


Phil Jones – Manchester United – £17 million
Frank Fielding – Derby – £308,000
Jason Brown – Aberdeen – Free
Zurab Khizanishvili – Kayserispor – Free
Marceo Rigters – Free
Benjani – Free

Transfers correct as of 08/08/2011

This Season:

Ever since the departure of long ball specialist Sam Allardyce, it was evident that Blackburn would have a tough time on their hands in regards to retaining their Premier League status. Steve Keane left it late, until the final day of the season in fact, but managed to secure Blackburn’s spot in the league.

This season will be a testing time for Rovers’ fans, and with the departure of promising centre back Phil Jones, and with striker David Goodwillie the only main arrival (although unknown Brazilian right back Bruno is set to join after receiving international clearance) it’s essential that Blackburn retain the services of key players Christopher Samba and Junior Hoilett if they are to stay up this season. These two players, along with Paul Robinson and Ryan Nelsen will go a long way to helping them achieve Premiership survival.

With the mystery behind the owners background, and getting the Blackburn squad to star in this ridiculous chicken advert, there persistent on bidding to bring in big name players instead of bringing in adequate players who can perform in the Premiership, Steve Kean seems quite happy to go about his business and work with the squad he has. I’m not sure if the team will be strong enough, and unless some quality signings are brought in to strengthen the Rovers team, despite being relatively strong in the defensive department, for me, Blackburn won’t score enough to keep them up.

Prediction: 18th

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: David Hoilett

How do you think Blackburn will do this season? Vote in my poll, or leave a comment below

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Aston Villa

Aston Villa

Manager: Alex McLiesh

Captain: Stiliyan Petrov

Last Season: 9th


Shay Given – Manchester City - £3.3 million

Charles N’Zogbia – £9.5 million


Ashley Young – Manchester United - £15.8 million

Stewart Downing – Liverpool – £20 million

Brad Friedel – Tottenham – Free

Isaiah Osbourne – Free

Robert Pires – Free

Nigel Reo-Coker – Bolton Wanderers - Free

Transfers correct as of 8/8/2011

This Season:

I see this as a transitional season for Villa, they finished 9th last season and I expect more of the same this season.

They cashed in on Stewart Downing, for a tidy £20 million sum and picked up an excellent replacement in eccentric winger Charles N’Zogbia. Ashley Young parted ways and joined Manchester United in one of the more dignified transfers of the summer, as well as getting rid of some of the deadwood from the last season’s squad, while bringing in one of the best goalkeeper’s in the Premiership.

I may not be Alex McLeish’s biggest fan, it’s evident he’s a firm believer in team work and working with a solid defensive foundation, the ingredients which helped him lead Birmingham to Carling Cup glory last season, but subsequently ended in relegation. It remains to be seen how he’ll do this season, but he’ll look to re-establish himself as a good manager, and take this Aston Villa team back to the brink of Europe, which they were close to a couple of seasons ago.

A top ten finish is a strong possibility, competing for the Europe League positions. They still have their sold defensive base, also with several quality midfielders. The addition of Charles N’Zogbia will replace some of the departed creativity, as well as experience and ability in Shay Given, McLeish should look to add a striker and Villa will surely secure a top 10 finish.

Prediction: 9th

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Marc Albrighton

How do you think Aston Villa will do this season? Leave a comment below, or vote in our poll.

Real Talk Football

Barclays Premier League 2011/12 Preview - Arsenal


Manager: Arsene Wenger

Captain: Cesc Fabregas

Last Season: 4th

Gervinho– Lille – £10 million
Carl Jenkison – Charlton Athletic – £990,000
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain – Southampton – £10 million

Jens Lehmann – Retirement
Mark Randall – Chesterfield – Free transfer
Denilson – Sao Paulo – Loan
Jay Emmanuel Thomas – Ipswich Town – £1 million

Transfers correct as of 08/08/11

This Season:

Another tough season ahead for Arsene Wenger’s men. With the imminent departure of Cesc Fabregas, the weight of responsibility and expectation falls onto that three man midfield; Alex Song, Jack Wilshere and Samir Nasri. Song had a great season last year, Wilshere was the standout young performer in the Premiership, while Nasri had a brilliant first five months but his influence over the team wore off towards the end of the season. Don't expect many comments on Fabregas here because he doesn't want to play for the club so why burden the fans with paragraph's of text on a man who has shown a distinct lack of interest in the feelings of the loyal supporters, anyway's lets move on!

Arsenal going forward always look more than capable, Theo Walcott and Robin Van Persie must stay fit in order for Arsenal to challenge for silverware, while Andrey Arshavin will continue in his same lazy but brilliant manor, and it will be interesting to see how Gervinho and his direct, and off the ball movement fares for him in the Premier League.

Defensive is arguably Arsenal biggest weakness, but they'll be strengthen by the return of heir apparent "new captain" Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian international was a huge miss last season, and is expected to instil the much needed toughness Arsenal requires. Laurent Koscielny was great in spells last season, but clearly struggled in certain areas, in a league where you can only learn from your mistakes. He wasn’t expected to be thrown in the deep end as quickly as he was, but partnering Vermaelen this season will help him become an excellent centre back. Djourou and Squilacci will provide adequate cover, but the less the latter plays; the better for Arsenal fans.

At full back, Wenger has put his faith in Kieran Gibbs and although he has great potential, what he lacks in experience, he makes up for in ability. If he can stay fit, he’ll have a make or break season with the Gunners, and it’ll be time to see what he’s made off. Bacary Sagna at right back is one of the most consistent in Europe, and I’m sure the promising Carl Jenkinson is one for the future.

Finally Wojceich Szczesny will be the number one, and Wenger is not the only manager in the Premier League putting his faith in a young keeper. Szcezesny has the ability, but needs to prove it at the vital moments in the big games.

Arsenal will have another strong season, but I don’t see them getting anywhere near the Premiership title. Wenger has got rid of some of the dead wood from the squad; the side have learnt valuable experience from last season, but he has failed to strengthen defensively for my liking. Expect a strong start to the season, and to tail off towards the latter stages. Without signing a new defender, missing out on Juan Mata, and not even considering replacing the calamitous Gael Clichy, a cup competition is Arsenal’s best hope this season, and I feel I’m being kind by predicting them to finish fourth, although I believe they won’t drop out of the Champions League places, with or without Cesc Fabregas.

Prediction: 4th

Best Starting XI

One to watch this season: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Where do you think Arsenal will finish this season? Leave a comment below, or vote in our poll.

Real Talk Football

Who is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?

Arsenal today completed the signing of one of the most coverted young footballers in the England, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain from Championship side Southampton.

As usual, it’s an undisclosed fee, but it’s believed the transfer is totalled at £10 million, with an initial £5 million paid up front, and the remaining portion of the fee available through add-on’s.

With this much money being spent on 17 years old, Arsenal fans may be disappointed that Arsene Wenger hasn’t used the money towards bringing in a new centre back, or on strengthening other areas of the squad, with fans still pining for a new goalkeeper or a marquee signing such as Juan Mata. Nevertheless the way this deal was pushed through so quickly, show's Arsenal still have the capability to make a deal happen if necessary.

To understand why Wenger has decided to sign the winger, Real Talk Football brings you all you need to know about the young winger.

Chamberlain, who is an England under-18 international, is another product of Southampton’s excellent youth academy, which has previously produced such talents including Gareth Bale, current Arsenal striker Theo Walcott, as well as established Premier League players: Wayne Bridge and Chris Baird.

He joined Southampton’s youth system when he was just 7 years old, and after 9 years with the club, he made his professional debut against Huddersfield Town, aged 16. Since his debut, he went on to make 34 first team appearances for the South coast club, scoring 10 goals and getting 8 assists.

He has blistering pace, combined with flair, all the attributes which make him a tricky winger capable of chipping in with goals, leaves the possibility of him converting into a striker at some time in the future, which has been predicted for Chamberlain by his current coaches.

Former Southampton manager Alan Pardew, who gave Chamberlain his professional debut, commented on the then 16 year old saying;

“You have to understand that his age is irrelevant if is he good enough, and he is good enough”

Chamberlain has obviously been compared to Theo Walcott, but he is more of a box-to-box midfielder, who began his career as a centre midfielder who subsequently was shifted onto the wing. He is seen as extremely "devoted and hard working" who has trained hard in order to dissolve criticism regarding his strength and weight. He is capable of switching wings, and his pace is undoubtedly his best attribute.

He was named in the League One Team of the Year for the 2010/11 campaign. A fantastic achievement.

Here's all you need to know

Age: 17


Height: 5ft 11’

Nationality: English

Right Winger/Centre Midfield

Previous Club: Southampton

Club Apps:
34 Club Goals: 10

Transfer Fee:
£5million (£10million)

Pace, Crossing ability and temperament

Untried at the highest level, big price tag

Click below for a video of Arsenal’s new signing, and leave your comment below.

Real Talk Football