Scouting Report: Arsenal's Calum Chambers

The 19-year-old was given the nod at centre-back for the first 45 minutes of the Gunners' pre-season clash with Monaco, but was partly culpable for Radamel Falcao's winner
There was a party atmosphere at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon and a big cheer greeted Calum Chambers' name when it was read out by the stadium announcer - but things would quickly change.

A 1-0 defeat to Monaco dampened spirits in north London, and Chambers playing his part in the decisive goal, scored by Radamel Falcao, means he will go away from this match having been taught a thing or two by one of the world's very best strikers.

Goal takes a look at how the 19-year-old fared in his second appearance in the red of Arsenal ...


Deployed at centre-back, it was not really a performance to shout about for Chambers, but after being schooled by Falcao he will certainly take a lot from it.

It was not too harsh a lesson, nor one which will destroy his confidence, but it does go to show that this is a talented footballer with much to learn at the top level.

He had a quiet 45 minutes on the pitch in general, but the decisive moment came after 36 minutes when Falcao capitalised on some disorganisation between Chambers and centre-back partner Laurent Koscielny to head home the winning goal.

It was Koscielny who was marking the Colombian, and the Frenchman stepped up, arm aloft, to try to play the offside trap. Chambers was a yard behind his team-mates, however, and Falcao used the extra space afforded to him to head home.

Both defenders were culpable, as it did not appear that Falcao would have been offside even had Chambers been in line with Koscielny.

Falcao did get away from Chambers on a couple of other occasions, but either the cross was wayward or Mathieu Debuchy was in place to cover.

On the ball, Chambers fared better, playing simple passes to his nearby team-mates in the most part but also trying two direct balls to wide players following adventurous runs from his defensive station into the midfield.

He was withdrawn at half-time with a much greater appreciation of what he will be coming up against over the next few years.


Arsenal and Chambers will be hoping that a long, successful career at the Emirates Stadium is on the cards. If the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea continue to feel the pinch from Uefa's Financial Fair Play restrictions then the Gunners are set up to become even more threatening over the next few seasons and Chambers could be a key part of any success.

He is by no means the finished article yet but, as Arsene Wenger says, he has tremendous quality and potential. He will surely spend the 2014-15 season bedding into the team as a rotation option in the cups and during the busier league schedule, with a view to becoming a key fixture in the line-up for years to come.

However, while his versatility might afford him more appearances this season, he only need look at the example of somebody like Phil Jones at Manchester United to realise that he might be better served nailing down one position and sticking to it.

In three years' time he could well be a permanent fixture in the first team, but if he is to be used as a sticking plaster to cover for injuries and suspensions in his first couple of seasons he might find himself frustrated later down the line.

A GOOD 2014-15 WOULD BE ...

Given Arsenal's annual plague of injuries there are two factors which would make a good season for the youngster: stay fit, and make at least 20 appearances as the Gunners compete on four fronts.

His versatility means a midfield role in the domestic cups would not be out of the question, while filling it at right-back or centre-back in the Premier League or Champions League is definitely on the cards as Arsene Wenger juggles a busy schedule.

Arsenal fans always expect at this time of year, and although he is only 19, his pricetag dictates he should be capable of making a contribution even if he is not an established starter.

To put a number on it, a run in the Capital One and FA Cup, plus an appearance or two in the Champions League, alongside 10-15 Premier League starts would mean a total of 30 outings and, therefore, a successful debut campaign at the Emirates.