web analytics

What can be expected of Calum Chambers when he returns?

Calum Chambers is currently rehabbing from an ACL tour suffered in late December. When he returns, what can be expected of the Arsenal defender?

Calum Chambers could not have suffered an injury at a worse point. Mikel Arteta had just arrived as the new head coach. He was making his second successive start at centre-back in the Premier League, the first time he had done that in almost two years. Arsenal were out of the clutches of Unai Emery and there was hope that Arteta was set to build around the young players at the club, of which Chambers was a part.

And then, disaster. 23 minutes into a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, Chambers tore his ACL. He will miss the rest of the season and, per Goal in April, could be absent until next December.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

Chambers was just beginning to show what he is capable of. He was one of the steady performers in the wretched Emery months, even when lumped at right-back, a position that he is far from comfortable in. He was superb in the season-opener at centre-back and then was named Man of the Match in Freddie Ljungberg’s last game in charge, a 0-0 draw versus Everton the day after Arteta was announced as the new head coach.

“He’s come a long way,” Arteta said in a press conference in December. “I know him very well because we played together and shared the dressing room here. I always liked him with the attitude desire and his willingness to learn, I think he’s come a long way. He seems excited, that’s what I am feeling. [I see him] as a centre-back.”

The 23 minutes against Chelsea was — small sample size alert here — phenomenal. He looked terrific in a more aggressive, higher defensive line. His passing was sensational. He would step into midfield to either press a Chelsea attacker or instigate attacks, committing a defender to press him before bypassing that pressure with a simple pass. He also provided the assist with a near-post header to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And then, disaster.

It is clear that Chambers is well-liked in the dressing room, and after being named Fulham’s Player of the Season last year, he has proven that he can perform at least a decent level in the Premier League. He turned 25 a month after the injury and is now reaching the point of his career when he must finally deliver on his ability, but in very brief outings, he has proven that he can be a viable defender. He would be an ideal third-choice centre-back, for instance.

Want your voice heard? Join the Pain In The Arsenal team!

Write for us!

But after such a wretched injury, what can realistically be expected of him? We saw with Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin how difficult it can be to regain match fitness, even once the injury is fully rehabbed. Now 17 and 16 months removed from their ACL tears, neither has been fully fit yet. Holding has hardly played this season, while Bellerin returned, missed a month with a hamstring problem, and has since been playing through a groin injury.

Chambers is no longer young enough to justify his place in the squad through sheer talent. And he is not old enough and has not wasted a high enough number of chances to reasonably say that he should be sold either. He is betwixt and between, and Arsenal wait on him to rehabilitate from a notorious injury, they too are in limbo.

Next: Arsenal: 5 players who can save Gunners millions

Quite what will come of Chambers’ career at the Emirates remains to be seen. Arteta is a believer, it seems, and his performances in very small sample sizes were excellent. But what does that mean coming off such a major injury? Time will tell, but for now, uncertainty reigns.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *