On Tuesday Arsenal’s young defender Calum Chambers joined Middlesbrough on a season-long loan deal. A loan move for the youngster was mooted when it became apparent that the Gunners were on the verge of signing Germany centre-back Shkodran Mustafi.
Mustafi has now completed his big money move to north London from Valencia and that freed Chambers up to make a temporary move.
Youngster needs to play games
When Calum Chambers first arrived at Arsenal from Southampton for a fee in the region of £16million two years ago he was regarded as one for the future. However, he impressed in his first couple of months at the club, which in a way worked against him and raised expectations.
He struggled to nail down a first team spot, as he was just not yet ready to be a first choice Arsenal defender. People forget that Chambers is still just 21-years-old and when he joined the Gunners he had very little Premier League experience at Southampton.
Chambers needs games to develop his undoubted talent and he was never going to get enough game time to give him the experience needed to help him fulfil his potential as a footballer.
Middlesbrough a good place to learn
Allowing the defender to join Middlesbrough was a shrewd move by Arsene Wenger. Boro under Spanish boss Aitor Karanka have become renowned for being very good at the back. They concede very few goals.
In Karanka, Chambers could have a very useful mentor. The Boro boss played at centre-back for Real Madrid for five years and later become Los Blancos assistant manager under Jose Mourinho, so he knows a few things about big clubs and how to handle players.
Not only will Karanka be a good influence, but the youngster could learn a few key attributes that he may never learn at Arsenal. Boro’s main objective this season is likely to stay in the Premier League. That could mean backs against the wall performances and games where they have to battle for points.
This sort of situation will help Chambers mature as a person and as a footballer become slightly tougher and more resilient. There seems to be no downside to Chambers heading out on loan.
The youngster should gain some valuable experience in the north east and hopefully head back to Arsenal a better player. Good luck Calum!
Is a loan move to Middlesbrough the right one for Calum Chambers?