Speaking to the Daily Mail, Martin Keown has admitted that he wants to see Calum Chambers play in defensive midfield for Arsenal, having been impressed by the confidence shown by Eric Dier since changing role for North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
When asked what he learned as a player in defensive midfielder, Keown said: “It required a different type of fitness but it helped my development no end and was probably the making of me as an Arsenal player. It improved my confidence playing in there so when I went back to defence it was a whole lot easier. And you can see the same thing happening this season with Eric Dier at Spurs and I would like to see Calum Chambers being given an opportunity in there as well.”
Keown was naturally a defender, but he was used in defensive midfield at times in his career, and he has admitted that it was a vital stage of his development - as it increased his confidence to the level needed to keep growing.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino threw Dier into his midfield earlier this term in the midst of an injury crisis, and has been rewarded with top class displays that have brought Dier England international recognition.
He looks to be a far better defensive midfielder than defender, and Keown thinks that playing in midfield will have a long-term impact improving Dier’s game, even if he does drop back to defence later in his career.
For Keown, he now wants to see Arsenal replicate the same experiment that Spurs have done this term, with Arsene Wenger testing Chambers in defensive midfield whilst they are suffering from a number of injuries.
The lack of cover in midfield means Chambers may have to be thrown in at the deep end, and whilst he has no experience of playing in that holding role, Dier has proven that a player can adapt if needed.
Chambers has yet to ever truly impress at Arsenal since arriving from Southampton, and Wenger putting him in midfield could be the making of the 20-year-old as a top class Gunner.