Liverpool Loan Watch: Luke Chambers – “Can Get Even Better”

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Liverpool youngster Luke Chambers joined League One side Wigan Athletic for the remainder of the season earlier this month and the defender has wasted little time in finding his feet at the DW Stadium. 

The 19-year-old – who made four appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side prior to his temporary move away – also impressed and was hailed as ‘outstanding’ whilst on loan at Kilmarnock last season so it was no surprise there was interest in his services this term. 

Now, Chambers has also made an impressive start to life at the Latics, playing three consecutive 90 minutes with one assist in the league and helping Shaun Maloney’s side to two victories and a draw in the process. 

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We went to check on the development of Preston-born Chambers as he started once again as the in-form Lancashire club faced promotion chasing Stevenage. 

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Playing on the left side of a central defensive trio, Chambers and the rest of the central defence had to deal with an early long throw and the physical threat of centre forward pairing Vadaine Oliver and Jamie Reid. 

The hosts won an early penalty when a cross was handballed inside the area, captain Josh Magennis powering home low and hard into the bottom right-hand corner.

Wigan pressure continued after the goal and the Liverpool loanee joined in the attack from the left-hand side as Maloney’s side earned a corner which was duly cleared by the visitors on this occasion. 

Interchanging regularly with wingback Jordan Jones, Chambers’ ability to bring the ball out from the back in possession was a key part of the Wigan system, illustrating the teenager’s versatility as both a left-back and central defender. 

Goalkeeper Sam Tickle and the Reds’ youngster attempted to play out from a goal kick but were almost undone as a bobbling ball was millimetres away from being closed down by the onrushing Reid just six yards from goal. 

Stevenages’s resurgence came to fruition when Reid bundled home from close range, much to the delight of manager Steve Evans who moments earlier had been demanding a penalty for handball for his own side. 

Chambers continued to be the main outlet for Wiagn when playing out from the back, with the left-footed defender finding the feet of midfield duo Matt Smith and Thelo Aasgaard on a consistent basis. 

Wigan retook the lead after a free kick was only partially dealt with inside the area, Aasgaard the quickest to react inside the area before prodding the ball home beyond Craig MacGillivray. 

The attacking qualities came to the fore once more as Chambers marauded forwards before half-time to earn a corner with a deep cross only for the home fans to be denied a third goal and a comfortable lead at the break when the officials ruled out a strike for a pull inside the area. 2-1 HT

Fouls, bookings and manager confrontation dominated the early phase of the second half as both sides went toe to toe in a physical war which saw the back three of Wigan tested by aerial bombardment time and time again. 

Chambers’ positivity in possession saw the young defender find the feet of Magennis in a dangerous area, with the target man striker winning a free kick that represented the first clear opportunity of the second 45 for the home side. 

Stevenage drew level with 65 minutes on the clock when a deep cross was met by captain Carl Piergianni. The game was back on with the intensity increasing and both sides pushing for all three points. 

Stevenage made attacking changes in pursuit of victory and the Liverpool academy starlet was asked questions of twice in quick succession, dealing with both situations with experience and nous in what was becoming an increasingly testing environment.  

Wigan failed to clear their lines on numerous occasions and were punished when Lewis Thompson fired home beyond the diving Tickle from range. 3-2 to the visitors and into the final 10 minutes. 

Chambers was deployed higher up the pitch in the search for an equaliser with his crossing ability proving to be a particular weapon in the dying stages. 

It was he who had the last meaningful effort of the game, a well-struck long-range shot blocked brilliantly and out for a throw-in before time was up.

Despite the best efforts, there was to be no equaliser and the unbeaten run since his arrival came to an end, albeit in a hard-fought contest which could’ve gone either way. FT 2-3

Chambers ended another consecutive 90 minutes with two tackles, one interception, three successful ground duels and one aerial duel won. In an attacking sense, the England youth international finished with a 75 per cent passing accuracy, one key pass, two accurate crosses and that late blocked shot. 

Speaking after the defeat, manager Maloney had this to say…

On the left-hand side: “I actually think that left side can get even better with Jordan, Thelo and Luke Chambers.”

On the defeat: “We didn’t defend our box well enough. It’s never nice to lose, especially at home.”



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