What a difference three days can make in the world of professional football. One day you're the best right-back in Europe, but 72 hours you've been ordered to bow your head in shame.
The downturn in Calum Chambers' fortunes was made clear to see on Wednesday morning after Catalan newspaper Sport named him in their European Team of the Week. However, the 19-year-old would have been too busy licking his wounds from the 3-3 draw against Anderlecht just 12 hours previous.
But Sport were not trying to play some cruel joke on the Arsenal youngster. Chambers' place in their coveted Team of the Week was a direct result of his efforts against Premier League strugglers Burnley.
Not only did Chambers keep a clean sheet, but he also provided an excellent cross, converted by Alexis Sanchez, before sealing the win with his first professional goal. It was a performance much more befitting of the teenager Arsene Wenger paid £16 million for.
The versatile defender had been a squad player at St Mary's last season but was highly rated by the Saints coaching staff. Wenger had been scouting him for the best part of 12 months and had already decided to buy him before the summer transfer window had opened.
- Calum Chambers settled at Arsenal
- Arsene Wenger must be held to account for transfer failure
- Chambers gets huge chance to succeed with Arsenal
Critics questioned the judgement of paying £16 million for a defender with such a lack of experience, but several astute performances for Arsenal have left them silenced. Chambers won a man of the match award against Besiktas on his Champions League debut and, thanks to injury, has become a key player for the Gunners.
While he is seen as a centre-back long-term, his versatility has allowed him to fill in for the injured Mathieu Debuchy. His ability to attack was seen in all its glory at the expense of Sean Dyche's men at the Emirates on Saturday.
Unfortunately Chambers could not stem the flow for Arsenal on Tuesday as they let a three-goal lead slip in under half an hour of football to Anderlecht. The draw should not stop them progressing to the knockout stages of the Champions League, but leaves it virtually impossible to win the group.
Chambers cannot let it affect his confidence, however, as he is likely to face a sterner test against an in-form Swansea City side on Sunday.
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