Given Arsenal’s lack of options in defensive-midfield at present, it is of little surprise that manager Arsene Wenger has suggested that Calum Chambers could be used in that position.
The England international has featured mainly as a centre-back or a right-back since joining the Gunners, but of late has been talked up as a potential candidate to fill the void vacated by Francis Coquelin’s injury.
It appears that the more experienced, if not always reliable, Mathieu Flamini is Wenger’s first-choice replacement for Coquelin, but Chambers isn’t far behind in the pecking order.
The 20-year-old struggled when deployed in that position away to his former side Southampton last season, but delivered a significantly more encouraging performance for Arsenal’s U21 side against Brighton recently.
Chambers made several important interceptions and also drove forwards to good effect on some occasions. The possibility of him forging a partnership with Aaron Ramsey at the base of Arsenal’s midfield is rather intriguing, although it remains to be seen whether Chambers would be able to replicate his display against Brighton on the bigger stage.
With the fixtures set to come thick and fast over the Christmas period, it seems unlikely that Flamini, at the age of 31, will be considered to start all of Arsenal’s games.
- [Match Highlights] Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – All The Goals And Best Bits
- [Player Ratings] Arsenal 4-1 Crystal Palace – Iwobi, Monreal & Wilshere Star For Gunners
- [Confirmed Lineups] Arsenal v Crystal Palace – Ozil Starts In 4-3-3
That could provide an opening for Chambers, and the youngster will be hoping to seize his opportunity after having to wait patiently for his chance.
At times earlier in the season Chambers wasn’t even making the bench for some of Arsenal’s first-team fixtures, but of late he has at least featured more frequently as a substitute even if he has, a little strangely, been deployed on the right wing at times when he has come on.
Last season Wenger remarked that Chambers’ long-term position could well be in midfield. He is a useful player to have in the squad, given his ability to cover in various areas, but his chance to prove himself in midfield could be just around the corner.
There was much hype around Chambers when he joined Arsenal in the summer of 2014, as he looked composed in his first few games for the club and delivered some particularly assured performances at centre-back.
He struggled a little as the campaign wore on and endured a particularly torrid afternoon away to Swansea City last season, but Chambers remains a promising talent and is a player who has an incredibly bright future ahead of him.
A future, it seems, that may well be in midfield.