Wenger calms Chambers callup claims
LONDON -- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes any talk of his teenage defender Calum Chambers receiving a callup to the senior England squad is premature.
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While Wenger has insisted he will not attempt to block any attempt by England boss Roy Hodgson to call up the defender he paid 16 million pounds to sign from Southampton this summer for the upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers, he feels Chambers needs time to develop before being handed full international opportunities.
"I share completely the assessment on Calum Chambers, he has done extremely well, but in England you have to be a bit more patient," Wenger said. "He has played three games. 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. That the players feel hurdle after hurdle they become stronger. It doesn't go too quick for them, that is something important for their development.
"I do not want to stop Chambers. Every player dreams to play for England. I do not want to say he is not to be selected. I am happy if Calum Chambers is selected for England. That the players gets the chance to show how good he is fantastic.
"That the players get the feeling that they have already made it, that is more dangerous. He has only played three games at centre-back at the top level."
Wenger believes Chambers will be ready for the challenge of taking on Everton's 28 million-pound striker Romelu Lukaku in Saturday's Premier League game at Goodison Park, as Arsenal look to avenge their 3-0 defeat the same venue last April.
"It is a big test for Chambers, but it was also a big test to play against Demba Ba," he said, reflecting on the youngster's impressive display in the Champions League playoff game against Besiktas on Tuesday.
"I like Lukaku very much. He is a good mixture of physical presence and technical quality. His attitude is full of desire and that is a big part of the success of a centre-forward.
"Overall, this game [against Everton] is important for us. We have started well in the Premier League and we want to have a good result away from home. Everton is always a good opponents and it tells us where we are. For us, it is a good test.
"They have entered this season in the bracket of the clubs that have spent 20-30 million pounds on one player. That means they have an ambition to go into the top four. They were close last year. They have the quality."
Wenger confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is available for selection this weekend, while his World Cup-winning trio of Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski are all in contention to play some role against Everton.
Arsenal are waiting on the result of a scan of the injury captain Mikel Arteta picked up in the Besiktas game, with Wenger conceding he may be forced into the transfer market if the Spanish midfielder is set for an extended spell in the treatment room.