Young defender Calum Chambers has joined recently promoted Middlesbrough on a season long loan in a bid to continue his development.
The 21-year-old joined Arsenal in July 2014 from Southampton for £16m but despite a flying start he has struggled to hold down a place in the starting squad.
North East move
Aitor Karanka’s men are notorious for their defensive stability, conceding only 31 goals last season and 37 goals the season beforehand under the Spaniard.
He’s no stranger to tutoring young players with Chelsea’s Tomas Kalas spending two seasons on loan with ‘Boro during their runs for promotion before moving back to the Blues.
At only 23-years-old, Kalas played 47 games in two seasons for ‘Boro, a very prominent role for a player his age.
Chambers is at an age where regular first team football is necessary to aid his development, with the natural talent evident for all to see during his first few months with the club.
Due to Per Mertesacker recovering from the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Chambers started the 2014-15 season alongside Laurent Koscielny and begin his Arsenal career in decent form.
He was a part of clean sheets in both the FA Community Shield against Manchester City and in his European debut against Besiktas in a UEFA Champions League qualifier.
Praised for his maturity, even at his youthful years, he was named in the England senior squad for the first time in August 2014 and made his international debut against Norway on September 3 as a late substitute.
He was nominated for the 2014 Golden Boy award, an accolade awarded by sports journalists for their perceived best player in Europe under 21 with previous winners such as Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Paul Pogba, the 2014 prize was won by Raheem Sterling then of Liverpool.
The return of Mertesacker, signing of Gabriel and the emergence of Spaniard Hector Bellerin at right back limited Chambers appearances in the second half of his first season and in 2015-16 would only see action 22 times, mostly confined to being Bellerin’s deputy at full back or a late substitute in midfield.
Despite scoring in Arsenal’s opening weekend defeat to Liverpool, new arrivals at centre-back in Bolton Wanderers' Rob Holding and Valencia CF’s Shkrodan Mustafi has pushed Chambers further down the pecking order with Holding preferred to the thrice-capped England international in Arsenal’s games against Leicester City and Watford.
With Koscielny, Mustafi, Mertesacker, Gabriel and Holding potentially available at central defence and Bellerin, Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson all options at right-back, it’s not surprising that Chambers finds himself in need of a loan move to build some experience hence the move to 'Boro.