Arsenal’s Chambers ‘intelligent enough to make a difference’ says Wenger

Arsene Wenger says Calum Chambers 'has done extremely well' in anticipation of possibly matching him up against Romelu Lukaku this weekend, but also cautions not to place huge England expectations on him just yet.

Calum Chambers was one of a slew of top talents to leave Southampton during the summer. Olly Greenwood / AFP
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned not to expect 19-year-old Calum Chambers to become the bedrock of the England defence just yet.

The teenager has settled quickly since his £16 million (Dh97.5m) summer move from Southampton.

Chambers looked composed as he played alongside Laurent Koscielny against Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley before helping to keep former Chelsea striker Demba Ba at bay in a goalless first leg of the Champions League qualifier away to Besiktas on Tuesday night.

Those promising performances have led to suggestions the youth international will be in the frame for a call-up to the senior squad ahead of the upcoming friendly against Norway and then the European Championship qualifier against Switzerland.

However Wenger, who has seen the likes of Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all develop into key members of Roy Hodgson’s squad, believes too much expectation must not be put on Chambers too soon.

Asked by Press Association Sport if he would urge Hodgson to be cautious were the England manager to give him a call, Wenger said: “I will say ‘hang on Roy’ yes.

“I do not want to say that he is not to be selected, I do not want to stop Chambers. Every player dreams to play for England and I am very happy if Calum Chambers is selected for England.

“What I mean is that the player gets the opportunity to show he is good, but that the player gets the feeling they have already made it is much more dangerous.

“I think Chambers is intelligent enough to make a difference in that because he has only played two or three games at centre back at the top level.”

Wenger accepts there is always a pressure to fast-track players, such as Everton starlet Ross Barkley, one of the few players to have impressed during England’s poor World Cup.

“I share completely your assessment on Calum Chambers, he has done extremely well, but I think as well in England you have to be a bit more patient.

“He has played three games and I think it is important for the development of the players that it doesn’t go too fast, not so much on the football front but psychologically as well.

“Players need to cross hurdle after hurdle stronger and it doesn’t go too quick for them. For me that is something that is very important in development.”

Arsenal head to Everton on Saturday and with German World Cup winner Per Mertesacker being eased back into the squad, Chambers could well come up against the power of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.

“It is a big test yes, but it was a big test against Demba Ba on Tuesday night who was strong in the Premier League and he managed to do that very well,” said Wenger.

Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta will miss the game against his old club because of an ankle injury sustained in Istanbul, the extent of which is continuing to be assessed.

Wenger knows Arsenal will face another stern test of their championship ambitions at Goodison Park.

“We have started well in the Premier League and we want of course straight away to have a good result away from home,” said Wenger, whose side beat Crystal Palace with a stoppage-time winner last weekend.

“Everton is always a good opponent that tells you where you are, and for us it is a good test.”

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