Mikel Arteta thinks Calum Chambers is now ready to step in and help the team, after a lengthy period making the squad but not featuring on the pitch.
Arsenal defender Calum Chambers started this season recovering from an ACL injury, which is always a slow process. He made his first appearance back with the u21s in November, then made his first start for the first team in December.
Yet that start against Dundalk was also his last appearance on the pitch for the senior side, up until now. He’s made the squad in the Premier League, FA Cup, and Europa League nine times without playing one single minute.
Interestingly, Arteta named Chambers as an option in his most recent press conference unprovoked, whilst answering a question about competition between Cedric Soares and Hector Bellerin at right-back.
“I think everybody has to compete with each other. I think Cedric has done really well,” Arteta began. “We’ve got Calum now that has been training really well in the last three to four weeks as well and looks completely ready to step in.
“So everybody has to play at their best level and we’re going to have to rotate players as well with the amount of games that we have.”
Recent reports suggest Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for Chambers in the summer, and that wouldn’t exactly be surprising if he doesn’t start to get onto the pitch before then.
But Arteta bringing him up as an option and praising his performances in training hints at a possible twist in the tale before the end of the campaign.