Leicester vs Arsenal match preview: Calm Calum can be an Arsenal star for years to come, says Per Mertesacker

The German believes Arsenal's new man will be a great

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The Independent Football

As Per Mertesacker strolled back into Arsenal’s training ground a few weeks ago, fresh from finally lifting the World Cup, he was struck by the attitude of one of the fresh faces.

Calum Chambers clearly made as much of an impression on the German as he did on everyone else, including England manager Roy Hodgson.Mertesacker believes the 19-year-old new signing has the personality to define Arsenal for years, and is a defender with “everything”.

“You could feel that from the start, when we first met him, how ambitious he is and how important he is for the squad, even though he is just 19,” Mertesacker (right) said of the former Southampton player. “We are delighted to have him.”

Arsène Wenger was delighted to find the full-back could fill in at centre-half in the opening few of games of the season, including alongside Mertesacker in the 2-2 draw at Everton. Chambers has been a revelation.

“Everything – he has that versatility,” Mertesacker enthuses. “He can play different roles. Against Besiktas [in Arsenal’s 1-0 second-leg win], he comes in at right-back. It’s easy for him to just feel comfortable. He will play a big role.”


That could soon be the case for England too, after Chambers was called up on Thursday for the first time. That may be fast, but Mertesacker (left) feels it will present no problem.

“As a person, his character, he is up for it,” said the seasoned Germany international. “I don’t think it will go wrong for him. How he managed to deal with the first few games under such pressure impresses me a lot.

“As a person, I like him very much because he is very calm. It will be tough, his first proper pro season at a Champions League club, as well as international football, but he is a character who can deal with that. If he wants any advice, I am here to help him or any player.”

Leicester v Arsenal live on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 4pm