By Lloyd Webb
Calum Chambers says that young players “have to grow up very quickly” in the Premier League.
The defender progressed through Southampton's academy before making his senior top-flight debut against West Bromwich Albion at the age of 18.
"When you first go from academy grounds to stadiums with a lot of people watching, that is hard to start with, but you have to learn to be comfortable with it and deal with it"
Chambers soon established himself in the first team there, before signing for Arsenal in the summer of 2014.
“You have to grow up very quickly,” he told Arsenal Player. “I remember moving to the first-team dressing room with Southampton for the first time at the start of the season.
“The jump from academy football to first-team football was huge. You are around grown men all the time and you are not used to it. The training is a lot more physical and you have to learn how to deal with it and cope with it as quickly as possible. That is a very important stage of growing up in football.
“The mental challenges [you face] are obviously being confident within yourself and in your ability for your first few sessions with the first team or when you move to the dressing room. [You need to] show everyone what you can do.
“That is one of the important things. Also, when you first go from academy grounds to stadiums with a lot of people watching, that is hard to start with, but you have to learn to be comfortable with it and deal with it.
“When you get into that environment, you can be uncomfortable. When you have done it once or twice, you feel that excitement and buzz from the crowd and you just want to do it more and more.”
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