Calum Chambers says head coach Unai Emery has spoken to him about playing a holding midfield role, after the England international appeared there against Boreham Wood in the first match of pre-season.
Chambers came on in the second half of the pre-season opener, but not in his usual position at centre-back, nor his previous role on the right as a full-back. Instead he played at the base of midfield, with Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding behind him in defence.
After the game, Chambers revealed it was something he’s spoken to Emery about.
“The manager spoke to me about the position, and yes it’s a new one for me,” he said. “It’s a position I feel like I can grow to enjoy. Out there today it felt good. I just need training, practice and games in that position to feel comfortable.”
Initially, most fans were under the impression that Chambers was just filling a spot in the team, and that may well still be the case. Many of Arsenal’s midfield players haven’t returned from the World Cup (Xhaka, Elneny, Torreira), and Guendouzi has only had half a week of pre-season with the club.
Nonetheless, from the way Chambers is talking, it seems like we might see him there a few more times as pre-season continues.
The 23-year-old had a decent enough game against Boreham Wood, with some good passes and runs, but also a few that failed to find the target. Nothing to suggest he can displace someone like Torreira in the first team, but we’ll see how things progress.