Calum Chambers’ “kindness and character” praised by Arsene Wenger in London Colney
PUBLISHED: 10:45 29 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:13 29 August 2014
Calum Chambers has the “character” to cope with his call-up to England, according to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger at today’s (Friday) press conference in London Colney.
At the pre-match conference at the Gunners’ training centre in the village, ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash against Leicester City, Arsene described Calum as a “kind boy”.
The 19-year-old summer signing from Southampton will join Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad.
On Wednesday (3) the national team has a friendly with Norway at Wembley before Roy’s men fly to Basel to take on Switzerland in their opening Euro 2016 qualifier.
Roy has recently said that while Calum’s start for Arsenal had impressed him, “last season I thought he looked very interesting at Southampton.”
Explaining his belief in Calum’s ability to take on his national role, Arsene told reporters: “He has the quality to be where he is; the only danger is psychological. That he [has to cope with] too much pressure, he has played three games, he is in the national team.
“The speedy way, I’m not negative about it – we have the example of [Theo] Walcott, who handled that very well.”
Arsene went on: “I think Calum Chambers is equipped to deal with that [pressure]. He has the character to deal with the pressure and the attention he will get.
“He is a kind boy and I believe he has a good family environment, and I hope that in the national team he will be protected a little bit as well.”
There were no injuries to report from the Gunners’ defeat of Besiktas (1-0) on Wednesday (27).
Aaron Ramsey is “available again because he was suspended for Besiktas, so he will come back into the squad”.
Serge Gnabry is “on a good way but no where near to being back in the group”.
Mikel Arteta is of course still out, as is Olivier Giroud, who had surgery on his broken ankle on Wednesday.
Arsenal will face Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray and Anderlecht in the Champions League group stage.
The draw took place in Monaco on Thursday and saw the Gunners, who were one of the eight seeded clubs in Pot One, drawn in Group D.
Arsenal qualified for the group stage for the 17th consecutive season after beating Besiktas in the play-off.
Quizzed for his reaction to the draw, Arsene responded: “Difficult, we have experienced Dortmund a few times. It looks a little bit ‘here we go again’ because we have played them a few times.
Asked whether he was pursuing any strikers, Arsene said: “No, you have decided I have to buy one, because I have not necessarily decided.”
To which the reporter quipped: “I’m very neutral.”
Arsene replied: “Good, thank you very much. I promise if we sign somebody, we will inform you.”
He added that all negotiations “have to be as secret as possible”.
Arsene said that while everyone was entitled to their opinion over who should be signed, “it doesn’t necessarily mean your opinion is right”.
But he admitted last minute negotiations, with transfer deadline day fast approaching, were like a game of poker.
Arsene said that although he would remain “on alert” it was hard to buy “top, top, top players now”.
Leicester City has recently signed Argentine free agent Esteban Cambiasso.
The 34 year old is the second most decorated Argentinian footballer of all time.
The team tweeted recently that he will wear the squad number 19 and “may yet be available for Sunday’s clash with @Arsenal”.
• Leicester City v Arsenal Sunday August 31, King Power Stadium, 4pm