Playing in midfield on Monday night, Calum Chambers had something to prove.
He was dropped down to Arsenal u21s to gain what could be vital time in midfield, and now has a place to play for. Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin and Mikel Arteta have been joined by Santi Cazorla in what is now a very crowded treatment room, and Chambers may be needed to play in midfield for the first team before long.
Thus he played there against Brighton u21s on Monday, and impressed Arsenal u21s manager Steve Gatting.
“It was great for the lads to play with him,” Gatting told Arsenal Player after the 2-1 win. “I think it was good for Calum to get 90 minutes under his belt and for such a young lad he has got a lot of experience and tonight I thought he was excellent.”
It’s vital that he finds some sort of form, as he’s barely played all season. Maybe now he can push on and step up into the first team midfield when called upon, as he surely will be over the course of the next couple of months.
Gatting is confident that, when required, Chambers will be ready to play wherever Arsène Wenger puts him.
“The boss has seen him play several positions and it is handy for the first team to have a player like Calum. He can perhaps play in central defence, at right back and in midfield and he gives the boss options and that is good for Calum to play in different positions.”
Other than playing at the very end of recent Champions League games against Bayern Munich and Dinamo Zagreb (a total of 18 minutes on the pitch), Chambers hasn’t been used in midfield by Arsène Wenger since New Year’s Day, when he started alongside Coquelin in a loss at Southampton.
That’s the only time he’s ever started in midfield for Arsenal, or at a professional level. The next month or so is huge for Arsenal and huge for Calum Chambers. It’s extremely likely that, sooner or later, we will need an impressive midfield performance from him. Let’s hope he’s up to it.