Middlesbrough’s manager, Aitor Karanka, believes that Calum Chambers will return to Arsenal a ‘better player’ after his loan spell with his side.

With doubts hanging over Chambers’ future, at least in the mind of many fans, it is important that he has a good, productive season that sees him get a lot of minutes on the pitch.

Speaking to the media in his pre-match press conference ahead of the return of the Premier League this season, Karanka, said, “He has come here to help us. I brought him here to help him because at the end of the season, the main thing is that we can stay in the Premier League and Calum can go back to Arsenal as a better player.

COLCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: A portrait of Calum Chambers of England ahead of the European Under 21 Qualifier match between England U21 V Norway U21 at Colchester Community Stadium on September 6, 2016 in Colchester, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
COLCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 06: A portrait of Calum Chambers of England ahead of the European Under 21 Qualifier match between England U21 V Norway U21 at Colchester Community Stadium on September 6, 2016 in Colchester, England. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

“Always the marks are at the end and for that reason, I think the marks will be good because he is a good player. He is coming to help us, to put pressure on different players and as a really, really good alternative for me.

“I have had a lot of experience with players who have come here and maybe they hadn’t played the games they expected to play, but after coming here they went back to their clubs having lived an amazing experience and improving.

“Sometimes it’s true that you have to play a lot of games, but sometimes players who haven’t played here went to other places and came back better players. It’s the same thing when we send players on loan.”

Chambers arrived at Arsenal two summers ago costing £16m and was initially thrust in at the deep end due to injuries, in a move that is reminiscent of Rob Holding’s debut campaign with the Gunners (it’s almost as if there’s an issue with not having enough senior centre backs).

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He then vanished for a while, presumably with an injury that Arsenal didn’t want anyone to know about and when he returned, he was plonked on the bench and hardly used.

It’s not clear whether Chambers will prove himself good enough for Arsenal in the long-run, but it’s well worth remembering that he’s only 21.

Time is still well on his side.