Calum Chambers gives Arsenal midfield option

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Arsenal signing Calum Chambers has revealed that he’s comfortable playing in midfield as well as at right-back.

The versatile youngster has played at centre back for England U19s, and was a central midfielder rising through the ranks at Southampton before taking a first-team opportunity at full-back.

Big price

Arsene Wenger paid £16million to bring the player to the Emirates Stadium this summer, and whilst he might have added a defender to his side, he’s also added another option further up the pitch.

“I was a midfielder about a year and a half ago for the Saints' under-21s,” he told the Gunners’ official website.

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“I saw an opportunity in the first team at right back and thought that for my progress it would be best to move there.

“I used everything I learnt in midfield like first touch, scanning and all that and brought it into [playing as a] right back. I learnt how to play there with the under-21s and went through each game afterwards with the coaches and worked on little bits and it just went from there.”

Limited experience

Chambers enjoyed a rapid rise to success at St. Mary’s last season, making his debut in the opening games of the 2013/14 season and making 21 Premier League appearances in total. He also made two Cup appearances, making him a relative novice at the professional level.

That didn’t stop Arsenal spending big on the 19-year-old, and he’s expected to challenge Mathieu Debuchy for a starting spot in north London following Bacary Sagna’s exit on a free transfer. It all makes for an exciting period in the career of the teenager, who’s keeping his feet on the ground despite the rapid rise.

“It has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I have managed to keep my feet on the ground and worked hard but it has been quite a mad [11] months,” he continued.

“From under-21s to first-team football is such a big step. I think it is more mentally than physically challenging, and over the Christmas period as well it is very tough.

Rapid rise

“I loved [my first season]. Every experience I got was such a good feeling to go out there and play against players of such quality. I just want to keep doing it more and more.”

Chambers could feature for Arsenal in the Emirates Cup at the weekend, when Wenger’s side face AS Monaco and Benfica on consecutive days.

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