Ambitious Watford are exploring the possibility of signing international defenders Calum Chambers and Jordan Lukaku.
The recruitment team have identified the 21-year-olds as two players to help bolster a new-look defensive system under new head coach Walter Mazzarri. Enquiries have been made as to their availability.
Chambers, who won the Toulon tournament with England Under-21s this summer, would be a loan deal and give Mazzarri cover in three positions. Costing Arsenal £16m two summers ago, Chambers can play right-back, centre-half or as a holding midfielder, providing the kind of versatility Nathan Ake did last season and giving Mazzarri flexibility in his matchday squad.
Chambers had limited game time at Arsenal last season, touching the ball just 273 times in 22 appearances and making just two league starts. His last start came in the FA Cup against the Hornets. “I just want to play games,” said Chambers after the Toulon tournament win. “But at the moment I am not thinking too much about next season, I just want to go and enjoy my summer. Then we’ll get back at it soon.”
The final decision will rest with Arsene Wenger who has previously sanctioned loan spells at Vicarage Road for Henri Lansbury and Hector Bellerin.
Lukuka, meanwhile, would be a permanent deal. He has one year left to run on his contract at Ostende and you suspect the Hornets, who strike a mean deal, would have preferred to wrap a transfer before the Euros. Lukaku, the young brother of Romelu, is expected to start for Belgium and a good showing would increase the interest in him and spark a bidding war. He played in the 3-2 win over Norway on Sunday in what was a much-fancied Belgium team’s final game before their opener against Italy.
“Jordan had a good match but there were some errors that could have consequences against a team like Italy,” said manager Marc Wilmots. “That’s the top level. You have to learn not to make them but how can I ask a kid from the Belgian league not to make any mistakes?”