REUTERS – Arsenal defender Calum Chambers remains pleased with his progress at the club despite being given limited first team opportunities in a back line dominated by the stalwart pairing of Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
Chambers made the positional switch from right back to centre back when he joined the North London club from Southampton last season and swiftly broke into the starting line-up due to an injury crisis in defence.
The 20-year-old, who made 36 appearances last season, put in a series of assured performances, which also earned him his first cap for the senior England squad.
However, Chambers has just made one league start this campaign and finds himself as manager Arsene Wenger’s fourth-choice centre back following the emergence of Gabriel.
The Gunners are second in the league behind Manchester City on goal difference after conceding just nine goals in 12 games with Chambers admitting he had gleaned a great deal from the experienced first-choice pairing of Mertesacker and Koscielny.
“I feel I have learned so much over the last two years and I am happy. I don’t think it happened too quickly. It just happened very quickly,” Chambers was quoted as saying by the British media.
“It was a whirlwind start but I took it game by game and enjoyed it. At the moment, I have changed position to centre back. I’m not getting so much game time but I am still working in training and trying to fight for my place.
“I’m not down or anything. When you are not in the team, you have to prepare for games as if you are in. You have to do everything the same,” he added.
“I feel I can go up to them (Mertesacker and Koscielny) and ask them anything and learn from them. I watch them in games all the time, learning, and it is helping me get better and better.”
Arsenal travel to 13th-place West Bromwich Albion when the league resumes on Saturday after the international break.
(Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)