Arsenal’s 22 year old defender Calum Chambers hasn’t featured for the Gunners this season, having spent the campaign out on loan with fellow Premier League side Middlesborough. The defender has had a good spell up in the North, but his time will soon be coming to the end, with just a matter of league games left to go.
His time with Arsenal hasn’t been the most consistent so far, but he has proven in his short career already that he does have the potential to be a very promising defender.
Chambers has impressed with the England Under 21 squad and lifted the cup in the summer alongside fellow Gunner Rob Holding. He also hasn’t been too shabby away from the Emirates whilst on loan with Middlesborough. The player clearly has potential, but has just looked extremely shaky over the course of his Arsenal career. The nerves of playing for the Gunners, being surrounded by top talent in training and the pressures that come with playing for Arsenal may have knocked him off his perch; however I just remember how good he was at the start of his Arsenal career, especially on his debut against Man City in the Community Shield.
Regular playing time is exactly what Chambers needed and his loan to Middlesborough will have been a valuable experience to him. He’s come up against class strikers week in week out, all whom offer completely different qualities on and off the ball. In his 19 appearances, he would’ve learnt a lot defensively and his ability would’ve improved, especially since he’s had to work even harder in defence with the recently promoted side.
Arsenal may be interested in seeing the defender return to the club in the summer, but today it’s being reported that a whole host of clubs are interested in making a move for English centre back. Everton, West Ham and Newcastle are all supposedly interested in the player, with a £10 million fee being quoted by the media. £10 million is a drop on the figure Arsenal paid for Chambers back in 2014, having spent around £15 million on the defender from Southampton. I think it’s unlikely to Gunners will look to sell, especially at such a loss not long after purchase and a loan move could be considered more likely if Chambers doesn’t feature in Arsenal’s plans for next season.
Although not being entirely convinced by Chamber’s performances, I must admit when Arsenal signed Rob Holding in the summer I did see a future of Chambers and Holding being that centre back partnership for many years to come. With Mustafi now amongst the squad however, I think he’s going to be a strong figure in the lineup for a while and thus Chambers may find it difficult to break back into the team as an Arsenal regular. As you can probably tell, I therefore have no doubts in Holding’s ability and fully expect the impressive youngster to make the step up to a regular defender, once he’s gained a bit more experience.
In my opinion, Chambers will come back from his loan at Middlesborough and be reincorporated into the Arsenal team for next season. Another loan move may be on the cards, but I think Wenger or whoever the boss may be, could potentially want to see how Chambers does having now spent a season out on loan. I’m unsure as to whether he’ll rise ahead of Gabriel in the pecking order, although I’m not a fan of the Brazilian; but I am almost certain that Chambers would now be picked over the ageing and injury prone Per Mertesacker.
Does Chambers have an Arsenal future, or is a move away on the cards for the summer?