Arsene Wenger has already told us that he is grooming Calum Chambers to be Arsenal’s new defensive midfielder to provide cover while Francis Coquelin is out of action for the next three months, so it is about time that we saw how he can cope with the role with the congested Christmas period coming upon us quickly.
So what better time to give him a chance than against the team that is adrift at the bottom of the Premiership and hasn’t won a game since the opening day of the season. Aston Villa are already hot favourites to be relegated and, to be honest, if Chambers cannot manage to do the job against them then Wenger may as well start looking to bring someone in from outside during the transfer window.
Calum was brought on briefly at the end of Wednesday’s game in Greece and he seems to be pleased with the idea. “It was really enjoyable,” he told Arsenal.com. “In games like that it’s great for me to get on, it adds to my experience so I’m really enjoying it.
“Every time I get to go on in central midfield it’s good for me and it adds things to my game as well. I’m just taking every opportunity I get and learning from the experiences.
“Compared to centre back, I think you need to be more aware of everyone around you.
“You’ve got to be swivelling your head, looking where everyone is and knowing where you’re going to pass the ball before you get it.
“It’s almost like you need to be one step ahead of the game.”
We have another week of training after the Villa game before we have the big match against Manchester City, but surely Wenger won’t risk introducing him to the new role against our title rivals. This is our best chance to give him his trial, but will Wenger do it?