Playing in a 0-0 draw with Bosnia on Wednesday, Calum Chambers had his centre-back partner Jack Stephens dismissed.
Not to worry, the Arsenal defender is the defensive leader of the England u21 side following the rise of John Stones to the full national team. Playing regularly for the u21s will be huge for his development.
Despite a lack of minutes for Arsenal this season, Chambers is surrounded by experienced internationals in training and is coached by some of the finest in the world. Former England international and current u21 boss Gareth Southgate is satisfied with the player’s development.
“He is at a club that is one of the top two in the country,” Southgate said before the goalless draw on Wednesday afternoon. “Arsène [Wenger] and Steve Bould, I know, always talk to him. They are trying to help him with his game.”
Chambers struggled at right-back against Swansea City winger Jefferson Montero last season, but the reaction has been blown out of proportion. Playing in a makeshift defence, Chambers hugely impressed in his first half season at Arsenal with Arsène Wenger starting to mould him into a centre-back.
With Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny fully fit, plus the addition of Gabriel, Chambers has barely had a chance to play. This season he has started just one Premier League game and played a total of 141 minutes, but his talent is still undoubted and he needs more experience as a centre-back.
“He is important for us. At the moment he is in the transition of becoming a central defender from a full back,” Southgate added. “I still think he can be a very good full back.
“Sometimes the Under-21s gives players the experience and game time they need.”
The more he plays, the more Chambers will develop and that will only be good news for Arsenal and England eventually. In both Wenger and Bould, Arsenal have two very knowledgable men so Chambers’ ability is in safe hands.
Next he has to learn by doing and while, unfortunately, his time on the pitch is limited at Arsenal it is good he will still be playing some professional football during these international breaks.