English Premiership

Wenger cools Chambers hype

2014-08-21 19:30
Calum Chambers (AFP)

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted it is too early to be speaking about Gunners teenager Calum Chambers as an England defender.

The 19-year-old, a £16 million pre-season signing from Premier League rivals Southampton, impressed in both Arsenal's Community Shield win over Manchester City and the Gunners' goalless first leg of their Champions League qualifier away to Turkish side Besiktas on Tuesday.

Those displays have led to speculation that youth international Chambers could be called into the senior England squad ahead of the forthcoming international friendly against Norway and the European Championship qualifier against Switzerland.

But Wenger, asked if he would urge Roy Hodgson to be cautious in selecting Chambers, were the England manager to contact him, the Frenchman 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," Wenger added.

"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."

"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 travel to Everton on Saturday and, with German World Cup-winner Per Mertesacker being eased back into the squad, Chambers could find himself up against powerful 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 launched their Premier League campaign with a stoppage-time win over Crystal Palace and Wenger said: "We have started well in the Premier League and we want of course straight away to have a good result away from home.

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

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