SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Alex Chamberlain (L) of Southampton celebrates his goal with team mate Frazer Richardson during the npower League One match between Southampton and Walsall at St Mary's Stadium on May 7, 2011 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Arsenal have announced the signing of 17 year old (soon to be 18) Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, for an initial fee reported to be either £5m or £12m depending on your source. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was strongly linked with Arsenal back in January, was the second ever youngest player to make an appearance for Southampton after former Saints man and new teammate Theo Walcott.
He comes to Arsenal after a very strong season at Southampton, scoring 10 goals and making 9 assists in 34 league appearances for the League One runners up. However, due to his age and Premier League inexperience, Oxlade-Chamberlain will likely play in the Carling Cup and FA Cup, along with the odd substitute appearance as he acclimates at Arsenal. At age 17, Oxlade-Chamberlain is clearly a long-term signing. But with 6 wide players all ready at the club, and 3 of them under 23, it's hard to see where Oxlade-Chamberlain fits unless 1 or more leaves, and right now, reports indicate that Carlos Vela is the odd man out. Seeing as Oxlade-Chamberlain has excellent pace, is a good passer and has shown he can finish, and having played in League One, can handle the physical demands of the English game, it will be unsurprising if this does mean the end for Vela.
Chamberlain becomes Arsenal's 3rd signing of the summer, after fellow League One player Carl Jenkinson and Gervinho. With Arsenal needing at least one defensive reinforcement, let's hope it's not the last.