When Calum Chambers joined Arsenal from Southampton last summer he did so amidst a considerable amount of publicity and for a fee which, when add-ons are taken into account, saw him ranked in top ten of the club's most expensive ever acquisitions.
It hasn't all been plain sailing for the 20-year-old of late, though, as he has been rather frozen out of the first-team picture recently, to the extent that he was left out of several match-day squads towards the end of last season.
The emergence of Hector Bellerin, couple with some mixed displays from Chambers at right-back last season, lent credence to claims that the England international is a far better performer at centre-back.
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Indeed, manager Arsene Wenger also seems to be of that opinion, with the Frenchman suggesting recently that Chambers will now primarily be used at the heart of the defence rather than at full-back.
The problem for Chambers at present, though, is that even at centre-back he will have to be incredibly patient for first-team opportunities, with Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel all currently ahead of him.
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A good reader of the game who is calm in possession, Chambers has long been tipped for a very bright future since progressing through Southampton's academy, but, despite his considerable potential, he is currently enduring a difficult spell, through no fault of his own.
As the season wears on and injuries inevitably strike, however, the door will surely open for Chambers to seize his chance. He seems a certainty to start in the club's Capital One Cup fixtures, whilst his ability to cover both at right-back and in defensive-midfield would increase Chambers' chances of selection should an injury crisis occur.
Wenger has been reluctant to send Chambers out on loan or play him in the U21s, with the manager preferring for the youngster to continue to train with the first-team squad.
At the moment, though, Chambers can do little to aid his cause other than to remain dedicated in training and to take his opportunity when it eventually comes. Arsenal's faith in Chambers' long-term potential was evident when they signed him for a high fee on a long-term contract and, with Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny turning 31 and 30 respectively next month, Chambers is seen as a long term option for Arsenal at centre-back.
Until then he will just have to bide his time. He had some very good moments during his maiden season at Arsenal, including a stellar showing against Besiktas, but he also struggled severely on some occasions, most notably during the defeats to Swansea City and Southampton.
Everyone at Arsenal is aware, though, that Chambers, should he develop as expected, could go on to become a major part of the club's future, even if at present he is a rather peripheral figure.
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