Arsenal defender wants more goals after maiden strike against Burnley
PUBLISHED: 22:29 02 November 2014 | UPDATED: 22:29 02 November 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Arsenal youngster Calum Chambers is planning to feature more regularly on the scoresheet in future after breaking his duck in Saturday’s win over Burnley.
The teenage defender marked his 40th senior appearance in club football by finding the net for the first time against the Clarets, just two minutes after setting up Alexis Sanchez to open the scoring.
And, although his primary concern is to stop the Gunners from conceding goals, Chambers is determined to increase his contributions at the other end of the pitch as well.
“It was amazing getting my first professional goal,” said the 19-year-old, whose signature from Southampton last summer cost Arsenal a hefty fee of £16m.
“There’s no better feeling, really. It’s been a long time coming – I’ve been close with one or two but to finally get one is such a good feeling. “I’ve been working on the celebration for years now and it was finally time to bring it out! I just want to keep going and I want to get a few more this season, to be honest, and prove my talent.
“I also want to get more assists and now I’ve got to push myself hard throughout the season, to improve week in, week out.”
Chambers’ rise to the top has been a swift one – he made 25 appearances for the Saints over two seasons, but had never been an undisputed regular in their starting line-up when Arsenal came calling.
Ostensibly signed as defensive back-up, the youngster was pitched into action straight away due to the absence of Per Mertesacker – and then had to switch to right-back after Mathieu Debuchy was ruled out by injury.
Inevitably, that lack of continuity at the back left the Gunners’ rearguard looking less than watertight at the start of the campaign and they recorded just one clean sheet in their first eight Premier League games.
However, Saturday’s victory represented a second successive shut-out for the first time this season and Chambers – who says he is equally happy to play as a full-back or central defender – feels that gives Arsenal a base on which to build.
“For me as a defender it’s vital to keep clean sheets – it’s almost as good as scoring,” added the youngster. “We’re really pleased with the clean sheets we’ve got and we’re building up some momentum now.
“We’ve just got to keep it going. I’m enjoying it and I’m happy to play – wherever I’m put I’ll do the best I can. As long as you’re on that pitch you’ll have a good time.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start at Arsenal – it’s gone so well and I’ve got to say thank you to everyone that’s welcomed me in with open arms, all the players and staff.”