'Calum Chambers - What can Boro expect?'
With the summer transfer window closed, there were a couple of late additions to the Middlesbrough FC squad, as Adama Traore arrived at the Riverside from Aston Villa.
It has certainly been a busy summer of transfer business as far as Boro are concerned and one of the final pieces of business saw Arsenal defender, Calum Chambers, join the club on a season long loan deal.
A solid defensive set-up was key to Aitor Karanka’s success last season and this latest addition, will bring additional talent to a defence, which has conceded only 2 goals in 3 Premier League matches, so far this season.
Chambers joined Arsenal from Southampton for £16 million in 2014, having been seen as a right-back. The Englishman enjoyed a good first season at the Emirates, making 17 Premier League starts but having been classed as a centre back, could not remove the likes of Laurent Koscielny or Per Mertesacker permanently from the starting XI. Arsene Wenger wanted to develop Chambers as a central defender and refused to let the player leave on loan last season but he finished with just 2 Premier League starts to his name.
Wenger claims Chambers has a long future at the Emirates but he has slipped behind new £2.5 million signing, Rob Holding and the signs are, Chambers time could be up at Arsenal.
That’s not to say Chambers has lost, what was an obvious talent and his lack of game-time at Arsenal, is Boro’s gain. Despite being only 21 years old, Chambers has plenty of experience in the top flight, having played 58 times in the Premier League. The defender has also played for England and it’s not very often you can get a young, England international, with plenty of Premier League experience, on loan for an entire season. In that respect, it is a great piece of business by Karanka.
What will Chambers bring to the Boro squad in terms of playing ability? Well, firstly Chambers is a good reader of the game and has the stature to hold his own as a central defender. Perhaps lacking in a bit of pace and agility, Chambers will be best suited in the centre of defence or even in a holding midfield position, as his technical ability on the ball is good and he is comfortable in possession. Chambers is also capable of winning the ball in the air and these are great attributes for a central defender or holding midfield player.
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The only thing which has been holding Chambers back, is his lack of opportunity to play regularly, in a defined position. Karanka obviously has plans for Chambers throughout the 2016/17 campaign and it will be interesting to see where in the Boro team, he sees the England international fitting in this season.