Calum Chambers has admitted that Aitor Karanka’s history as a defender as well as his managerial style were what swung it for him when deciding on where to go on loan.
Chambers signed for Middlesbrough on a season-long loan and has so far played 180 minutes for Karanka, a lot less than he seems to be spending watching DVDs of opponents after training sessions.
“I came here because of the manager and the team and the way they play the game,” Chambers told the Teeside Gazette.
“I felt this was the best place to come and develop myself as a player, to learn and to play games.
“The manager was a centre-half and I thought it would be good to learn from someone who had played in that position at the highest level.
“The training, the intensity and the detail the manager goes into, that has been the main thing for me.
“The tactical detail we go into on the opposition we have that weekend is amazing. It is very useful.
“It’s nice being able to do that during the week, studying the strengths and weaknesses of the players you are likely to be up against, how they play and how we prepare, what we can work on, on beating them.
“Going into games with that kind of information is really good.
“I want to play games. I want to develop and improve and learn and I want to play games and help Boro establish themselves in the Premier League.
“I was excited to play [first game against Spurs] as it was a new chapter in my career,” he added.
“The first half showed just how difficult this league can be. Every game is tough and if you are not 100% then you get punished.
“But the thing we can take from the game was the second half performance, the heart and spirit we showed. We got the goal and we put pressure on them to get another and we can take confidence from that.
“We have a lot of quality players here and if we play to our standard then we can win a lot of games.
“Obviously I know Gibbo from England and Gaston from Southampton.
“But all the lads have been very helpful and welcoming and have showed me around.
“I’m enjoying it here. The players and the staff have all been friendly and welcoming and there is a great spirit and atmosphere here, not just in the group but around the club.
“Boro got promoted last year so there is still a bit of buzz around the place and the supporters last week were just incredible. It’s a great club.”
Chambers arrived at Arsenal in 2014 for a fee reported to be in the region of £16m.
Initially thrown into the side because of another injury crisis at the club, when the more senior players returned to action, Chambers found himself getting less and less game time.
Chambers is still expected to play a part in Arsenal’s future with this loan to help him improve as a player through regular playing time.
It is highly unlikely that Arsenal, after shelling out a ton of cash for the then-teenager, will consider getting rid of him after just a few seasons.
Unless the player pushes hard for a move away, obviously.