Arsenal defender Calum Chambers has come off the back of an impressive campaign for club and country, having impressed on loan at Middlesbrough in the Premier League and England U21 in this summer’s U21 European Championship.
The young centre-back return to Arsenal for pre-season where he’ll bid for first-team football in 2017/18, but the stiff competition may see him subsidiary under manager Arsene Wenger. So would a loan move be beneficial to Chambers?
Experience last season has greatly boosted his development
This time last season, Chambers was at a crossroads in his Arsenal career. He had racked up just over 300 minutes of Premier League football in 2015/16, featuring more heavily in the FA Cup, and his future at the Emirates Stadium was somewhat unknown. Wenger was still keen on the England international but couldn’t find a way to fit him into the side given the competition for places, nor had his form deserved it. But a move to Middlesbrough that summer helped turn things around.
Under Aitor Karanka, Chambers shone in an organised Boro defence in 2016/17. The North-East club failed to win in the 14 games the Arsenal man didn’t feature in, and in his 24 Premier League appearances Middlesbrough conceded one or less goals on 14 occassions. Despite their relegation, Chambers came away with a lot of credit for his form during the season-long loan and picked up where he left off in the U21 European Championships.
Chambers, with England, helped the side to the semi-finals where they were unbeaten in 90 minutes. It would be a waste for him not to be playing regularly next season as a result, but with Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding, Gabriel and Per Mertesacker ahead of him in the pecking order at Arsenal, chances may be limited.
Plenty of clubs keen on his signature
If Chambers is keen for another season-long loan move in 2017/18, he won’t be without interest this summer. Former side Southampton are 5/2 to sign Chambers this summer, but the likes of newly-promoted duo Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion, Everton, West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Watford, Leicester City, Stoke City and Swansea City are all believed to be interested. Middlesbrough’s defensive structure, despite the relegation, was key to developing Chambers in the Premier League and he may be keen on another structured club before deciding his next move.
The 22-year-old needs regular football at the highest level to ensure he builds off last season. But where could Chambers go this summer?
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