Arsenal bought Calum Chambers from Southampton for a large sum of money for a 19 year-old, but despite his enormous reputation he never really impressed Arsene Wenger enough to get him a long run in the Gunners first team. Last season Le Prof decided to send him out on loan at Middlesbrough and it seems to have done wonders for his confidence and he could now be ready to come back to the Emirates.
Chambers is currently with the England U21s in Poland and has helped them to get to the semifinals so far, while keeping Rob Holding on the bench. The Young Lions have so far kept two clean sheets out of three games with Chambers being very impressive at the centre of defence, and he is looking forward to returning to Arsenal to fight for his place in the first team.
“This season has been so important for me, playing games as a centre-back,” he said. “The experience I have gained in that position just from playing is so valuable to me. I just feel it’s just pushed me on another level.
“I want to have a good tournament anyway and I’m focusing on here. If I have a good tournament it’s great and I’ll be going back to Arsenal for pre-season and doing the best I can and seeing what happens.
“It’s been a very good season for me. I gave absolutely everything to try to get results and keep Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Unfortunately I couldn’t do that and I was gutted.
“We have to see what happens. I’m an Arsenal player and I’ll be going back in for pre-season and concentrating on that but at the moment my focus is on England and beating Germany.”
Strangely enough Chambers credits our very own German defender for his improvement as a centre-back. “The one player who has helped me a lot would be Per,” Chambers continued. “Being in the same position, he was almost like my mentor for a couple of years. I have never seen a player so professional and dedicated.
“Every little thing he could do he did. There were times when he would be looking at me and saying ‘you could do this’ and that’s rubbed off.
“That’s helped me realise the little things you do, the tiny little one or two per cents, get you where you want to be.”
Now that Mertesacker has basically said that he is ready to retire from the playing side at Arsenal, maybe Chambers has learned enough from the BFG to take his place in the Arsenal back line. Also Laurent Koscielny is not getting any younger and has continuing Achilles problems, so perhaps next season we could see both Holding and Chambers playing alongside each other in the Arsenal defence.
Do you think he is now ready to do the job?