Calum Chambers joined Arsenal from Southampton with a lot of fanfare back in 2014, and in his first season he made 17 League starts for us, plus 6 from the subs bench, despite only being 19 years old. But in the 4 and a half subsequent seasons he has made just 14 League starts in total, although he spent one year at Middlesbrough and last season was down the road at Fulham, where he went on to win the Player of the Season award.
But he was keen to make it at Arsenal and returned this summer with the hope that he could finally break into the first team, especially with our glut of defensive injuries and Bellerin a long term absentee. But for some reason Emery decided to play Maitland-Niles out of position at right-back instead of giving the very versatile Chambers a run in the team. So he had to patiently wait for his chance, which only came in our comeback win against Aston Villa, where he got on the scoresheet. He remained in the starting XI for the League Cup rout of Nottm Forest (albeit at left-back) and provided three assists as we won 5-0.
But now with our injured stars returning to the squad, is Chambers likely to yet again be relegated to the bench. This is what Emery said about Chambers after the Forest match: “He helped. He helped us in the training, in the dressing room and when you need him to play right back, centre back, left back like tonight, and we can use him in the midfield also. His performance is starting with his attitude and his attitude is amazing. After that is his best position, but tonight for example I was telling him, when he was playing left back, be calm here, help and support Bukayo, give the ball to Dani Ceballos and he was overlapping a lot of times with Bukayo! He did one very good pass for the goal with Nelson. He didn’t listen to me”
Is it possible that Emery is not convinced he is first team material in any one position, but believes he can cover for so many that he a very useful player to have on the bench to cover for any injuries during games? Chambers is desperate to make it here but as he told Arsenal.com just this week: “I think to establish yourself here, you need to play week in, week out. It’s the same at every club you go to. When you’re playing week in, week out that’s when you really establish yourself to the team and the fans.
“That’s a goal I want to push for, it’s one of my aims, so I’ve got to figure out how I can do that. I need to work on things off the pitch to help me achieve that, that’s the aim for this season.”
But without a set position in the side will he ever get a steady run of games under Emery? Or simply be the perennial supersub?