Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn has offered some advice to Calum Chambers, after witnessing the defender struggle to contain Swansea City’s Jefferson Montero in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium.
Chambers, 19, became an instant hit at centre-back after arriving at the Emirates from Southampton this summer for a potential £16 million fee, with his impressive performances earning him his first two senior England caps.
However, despite being known as a right-back during his time on the South Coast, the teenager has struggled at times in the position for Arsene Wenger’s side, and was given a torrid time on the weekend when defending against the pace of Montero on the flank.
Winterburn himself sees Chambers’ future in the centre but, for now, believes there are a number of things the Three Lions international can work on to help him become a more reliable starter.
“There are several things Chambers can do [to deal with difficult opponents] but he’s got to work that process out as the game is going on," he told Sky Sports News HQ.
"You can’t have the manager shouting out, ‘You’ve got to do this’ - you’ve got to work that out as you’re playing and that will be a massive learning curve for Chambers.
“He’s had a real torrid time there and he needs to go on the training ground to figure out what he’s going to do should he end up in that situation again, but it’s not a problem that he’s had that experience because we’ve all had it. My gut feeling is that he will eventually be a centre half for Arsenal.”
Despite concern about the club’s recent defensive performances following the Swansea defeat, Winterburn insists there are several positives for Arsenal to build on moving forward, with the former left-back moved to hail Alexis Sanchez’s impact following his £35 million summer move from Barcelona.
“It’s not all a disaster for Arsenal, even in defence, because they can look at what they’ve done wrong and readjust - if they want to readjust - to solve the problem," he said.
"But going forward they’ve introduced a player who’s scoring a lot of goals and leading by example in terms of his work rate. When you bring in an expensive player, every looks at his ability on the ball and whether he scores goals and that is what Sanchez in doing.
"Look at the guy’s enthusiasm defensively as well, that should rub off on the rest of the team and that’s a massive positive for Arsenal.”