After two decent performances against Benfica and Monaco in the just concluded Emirates cup, Calum Chambers has yet again caught the eyes of Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, who heaped praises on him after the match in a press conference at the Emirates on Saturday. In his words, ‘‘He’s 19-years-old and he came here, without talking and has played two good games and not been phased by the quality of those games’’. He went on to say ‘‘it was his first time at the Emirates and he’s one of the satisfactions of the weekend’’. The 19-year-old former Southampton player appeared for Arsenal in the two matches playing as a central defender in partnership with Nacho Monreal against Benfica and Laurent Koscielny in the match against Monaco.
This appeared somewhat surprising as many thought he was brought in to be Mathieu Debuchy’s deputy at right back and should be tested in that position but Wenger had this to say about the roles he could play ‘‘He can play in the central midfield, because of his technique and good ability and he’s a great distance runner. He played in the U19s with England as a central defender and for Southampton as a right back and it was against us that I first saw him as a right back’’. The player no doubt, at 19, has a lot to learn from older and more experienced players like Debuchy, Koscielny/Mertersacker and Arteta/Flamini because, other than his age, he hasn’t many English Premier League games under his belt. On his inexperience, the manager said ‘‘and even though at the end of the season he didn’t play so much for Southampton, I had made my mind up to buy him after I saw him against us’.
It is now looking more like Calum Chambers himself would be the one to decide the position he’d hold down in the nearest future for Arsenal, because he most likely would be subject to experimentation by Wenger till he cements a role permanently. This happens a lot under Arsene Wenger as versatility is one of the key attributes a player must possess to attract interest from the manager. He experimented with players like Thierry Henry, Kolo Toure and Alex Song in the past, made them adapt, feel comfortable and gradually own the positions they played during their time with the Gunners. However, a matter of serious concern is the fact that the manager mentioned his ability to play central midfield. Central defensive midfield!!! A position Arsene Wenger is in dire need of a player and is reportedly keen to sign a player for. Critical thinking would pop the question ‘‘could Wenger be revealing in parables that the defensive midfielder reported to be coming in, is already in’’? I think not! However unrealistic that seems Wenger could be looking for a defensive midfielder on the long term and just view the lad as an able candidate for the position.
This may spark either a keen watch on proceedings or a very lazy wave of the hand, but like it or not ‘‘Wenger knows best’’.