Per Mertesacker says Calum Chambers has a “great chance” of becoming a top Premier League defender in the future.

The England international had a breakthrough campaign in 2014/15, featuring 36 times and scoring his first goal for the Gunners against Burnley.

Gabriel’s fine form has restricted Chambers to just three appearances this season, but Mertesacker believes the 20-year-old still has a very important role to play in the years to come.

He’s eager to learn, he really fancies challenging every single centre back and that’s something you need

Per Mertesacker

“He’s a good guy and we challenge each other every single day in training,” the vice-captain told Arsenal Player. “That’s what it’s all about. He’s eager to learn, he really fancies challenging every single centre back and that’s something you need.

“When you step up as a young talent, you need to challenge the old lads. It’s really good to have him so that we can improve. You never stop working, you never stop doing things because there’s someone behind you - in a respectful way - who is giving absolutely everything in every single training session.

“That’s what my feeling is. When he does that, he’s got a great chance to develop as one of the top centre backs.

“It’s a good situation for us because every player gives something to the team,” Mertesacker added. “It’s not only about taking something or taking a place, for us it means more to play for Arsenal than just getting a spot in the lineup.

“It’s a good situation for all of us. There will be small niggles, injuries and sicknesses so we have to find a way of playing with each other, no matter who’s playing. That is the situation but it’s a very respectful situation.”

Calum Chambers
Calum Chambers

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Max Jones 12 Oct 2015