It is the former World Cup winner himself whose place in the Arsenal starting line up is most at risk by the young England international Calum Chambers, but the German centre back has no problem singing the praises of his young team mate.
In fact he claims that he is doing everything he can during the Arsenal training sessions to help Chambers become the best defender he can be. The former Southampton academy star came to north London last summer for around £16 million and was originally used as a right back. With Debuchy and Bellerin though, it was starting to look very hard for Chambers to get a game.
It is still hard for him now, with Mertesacker, Koscielny and Gabriel to compete with, but it is clear that his future is in the centre of defence and our BFG reckons that future will be a very bright one for the player and for Arsenal. He told Arsenal Player about how much dedication and hard work the 23-year old shows in every single training session and how that is forcing the older player to stay on his toes.
Mertesacker said, “He’s a good guy and we challenge each other every single day in training. That’s what it’s all about. He’s eager to learn, he really fancies challenging every single centre back and that’s something you need.
“When you step up as a young talent, you need to challenge the old lads. It’s really good to have him so that we can improve. You never stop working, you never stop doing things because there’s someone behind you – in a respectful way – who is giving absolutely everything in every single training session.
“That’s what my feeling is. When he does that, he’s got a great chance to develop as one of the top centre backs.
“It’s a good situation for us because every player gives something to the team. It’s not only about taking something or taking a place, for us it means more to play for Arsenal than just getting a spot in the lineup.
“It’s a good situation for all of us. There will be small niggles, injuries and sicknesses so we have to find a way of playing with each other, no matter who’s playing. That is the situation but it’s a very respectful situation.”
It looks like Koscielny is very close to a return, although the trip to Watford on Saturday might be just a little too soon, so Chambers is likely to be the back up centre back on the Arsenal bench. And then he is sure to start the Capital One cup game against Sheffield Wednesday in just over a week. It appears that Chambers is learning fast but it is vital for him to play games as well.
How long do you think it will be before Chambers is really challenging Mertesacker for his first choice status?