WELL, it now seems that Alex Chamberlain’s move to Arsenal is imminent.
Apparently the only thing that needs to be finalised is whether or not he comes back on loan for the rest of the season.
If it is a £10m deal, as murmurs suggest, Saints are hardly in a position to turn it down. An eight-figure sum for a 17-year-old with 20-or-so games under his belt is just too good a deal to turn down.
Chamberlain is a fantastic talent, but he still has a lot to learn.
Whatever the slice of the transfer fee Saints are able to put towards improving Adkins’ squad, it should provide some much needed quality in depth.
Many people rave about how ‘Oxo’ should stay here, but if you look at it in the cold light of day, he has the chance to increase wages perhaps as much as ten-fold as well as learn from the best in the business.
Through my Saints-tinted glasses, Walcott should have stayed longer to get more first team matches under his belt. But looking at it on the other hand, he was able to train with and play with Thierry Henry, whom he idolised, as well as benefit from Wenger’s tutelage.
Likewise, the latest Academy product to roll out of the old lodge on Hill Lane – which I think might have also been sold now - can learn from players like Andrei Arshavin and Samir Nasri. Not bad role models for a young winger, eh?
Finally, as great a prospect as Chamberlain is, Saints are not built around him. To have a squad dependent on the talents of a 17- year-old would be disastrous.
Thankfully, that’s not the issue here.
There are other players, such as Lallana and Fonte, who are more integral to how Southampton play. If losing Chamberlain means we can keep hold of them, then it is a hit we have to take.
● Attention now undoubtedly turns to the Manchester United match next Saturday. An upset might be a bit on the optimistic side, but there’s no harm in hoping – after all, third-tier Leeds United turned over Man U last season.
What is a bare minimum though is that Saints do themselves justice.
We lost to Man United with a whimper in 2009 and the way the team meekly surrendered in the final stages of our final Premier League match in 2005 was nothing short of a disgrace.
All we want is for you to do yourself proud, boys. Show the world what you can do.