Arsene Wenger has recently spoken very highly about Calum Chambers and his recent form at Middlesbrough.
Chambers, who has been with the club since the 2014 season, was sent out on loan after making one start against Liverpool. With nine games having been played so far this season, Arsene Wenger believes that the promising young central defender has been making significant strides in his development at his new club. Chambers made thirty-six appearances for Arsenal before being loaned out but has only appeared three times at Middlesbrough. Despite limited playing time, Chambers has shown flashes of brilliance in this role.
A recent article in the GazetteLive included several interesting quotes from Wenger and Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka about Chambers’ recent performance. The article indicates that Wenger was particularly impressed with Chambers’ play as a substitute against Watford. Wenger was pleased that Chambers was able to play “right-back in the last 20 minutes against Watford.” It is important to consider that Chambers has played as a right back for Karanka’s squad despite playing as a center back for Arsenal. Karanka expressed his gratitude that Chambers had been sent to Boro but was adamant that he could not guarantee Calum playing time. Karanka stated that his players “have to fight on the pitch and show everyone they are better than their teammates.” Since Boro already has two players—Daniel Ayala and Ben Gibson—who are already seeing significant time at central defender, Calum will likely have to fight to earn his position as a starting defender.
The news about Chambers should be encouraging for Arsenal fans. Calum was not getting enough playing time at Arsenal, and often looked lost on the pitch as a starter and substitute. Wenger sent him out on loan so that he could get playing time in the Premier League. Since he is only twenty-one years old, Chambers has time to improve as a defender before his prime football years have passed.
If Middlesbrough can avoid relegation this season, an extended spell on loan could be beneficial for Chambers. The signing of Shkodran Mustafi to play alongside Laurent Koscielny during the transfer window indicates that Arsenal was looking to solidify its back line in order to chase the Premier League title this season. If Calum Chambers continues to make progress while playing at Middlesbrough, fans should expect him to eventually have a successful career at Arsenal.