Wenger is contemplating leaving Calum Chambers out of the starting team against QPR, among the changes expected for the Saturday evening-time kickoff.
The Christmas fixture cluster is finally here, and as much as the line up could be seen as opportunities for us to amass (big word there) points, it does not come in period where we can actually boast capability to prosecute all successfully.
A thin squad has been reduced to the weight of a flaying thread with an overdose of injuries, limiting the number of players we could call up for games. Mertesacker, Alexis, Oxlade-Chamberlain have all been ever-presents since the begin of the season, but they’ve not shown so much signs of burnout as their shoulders have become used to it with age and experience.
That may not be the case with 19-year old Calum Chambers who is very much on that list with Alexis and co. The youngster has only missed three of the first team games this season, and that was because he was either suspended (2) or mildly injured (tonsillitis). A bright start has convinced us all that he was a really good buy by Wenger and will have a long and shiny Arsenal future.
But it has gone a bit underpar recently, beginning from the terror that was Jefferson Montero, and Wenger acknowledges it. The manger has now considered giving the ex-Saints man a rest, admitting to overusing him beyond his mental ability.
“For a 19-year-old, he has played too many games,” the Express quotes Wenger.
“They all hit the wall after 15 to 17 games. You have to give them a breather, let them refresh and get them back again.
“To have that responsibility in every single game is a lot for a player of that age.”
Chambers has made 21 starts for us this season, which is only one less than his entire outing with Southampton last season, and there can be no doubt he may very well be in need of rest. Beginning the season at center-half, he’s been tossed around virtually every position in defence, with different pairings. He’s 19 and it must not be easy coping with that. Chelsea, City, Liverpool, United, none have a 19-year old in their first XI on a weekly basis – perhaps a reason we have struggled for some solidity at the back.
The return of Debuchy, and Wenger’s reluctance to play someone who is not a man in center half means it could be more a tactical decision than a leave grant. Monreal must be Wenger’s preferred make-shift center-half option and so it means Debuchy will take his place at right back.
If Wenger has been impressed enough with his fellow Frenchman’s performance as Per’s partner, it would mean another 19-year old, Hector Bellerin, will get another opportunity to impress the Emirates crowd with his dazzling runs and attacking fearlessness, even if he will have to improve in his core duties as a defender.
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