England Watch: Youth Edition

5 of 5

For Calum Chambers, it’s been three impressive performances in his first three matches for Arsenal this season; he has not disappointed


Many Arsenal supporters turned their nose up when Arsene Wenger spent 16million pounds on the Southampton youth standout (the key here, is that he came from Southampton, and should have been recognized as a sure thing); three appearances later, and Calum Chambers’ name is on the lips of every Gooner from London to Kuala Lumpur.

Thus far this season, he’s stood toe-to-toe with Manchester City, came through in a tough match against Crystal Palace, and made his European debut in Istanbul against Besiktas.  In those three appearances, he was easily one of the clubs best players on the pitch.  But the question in regards to Chambers, is where does he go from here?

When Ross and I spoke in the immediate aftermath of his move to the Emirates, Ross calmly stated that everyone should expect him to challenge Mathieu Debuchy for the starting birth at right-back.  While Chambers has yet to feature there, he has certainly cemented himself as a viable option at center-back.  The two realities for the player however, are as follows; 1. Per Mertesacker will resume first-team duties this weekend for the trip to Everton, and 2. Arsene Wenger see’s Chambers’ future as a holding midfielder rather than at center-back.

But never fret young Chambers, with Aaron Ramsey set to miss the second leg against Besiktas at the Emirates, and an apparent injury to Mikel Arteta (which there is no timetable yet, if at all), you could well continue to feature in the XI this weekend or next midweek in midfield.  The beauty of this for England, is that Chambers can comfortably play three or four different positions – having a utility player is invaluable for the national team.

As stated before in the section on Dier, England right now have six young center back that will increasingly be drawn into the spotlight; Calum Chambers, Eric Dier, John Stones, Steven Caulker, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.  Thus far this season, only Chambers, Dier, Stones and Caulker have impressed, while Jones and Smalling continue to show that their form and ability is haphazard at best.

While Arsene Wenger may well see the players future in midfield just in front of the defense, the recent retirement of Per Mertesacker from the national team to “focus on Arsenal more” is good news for him.  The fact that the club only have three center-backs fit for front-line service could see Chambers continue to feature there, and should he impress further, Roy Hodgson would be blind not to give the player a run out for the national team.