ARSENAL manager Unai Emery has revealed why he picked Calum Chambers over new recruit David Luiz during their 1-0 win at Newcastle.
New £8m signing Luiz had to sit on the bench, after having only one full training session with Emery's squad before Sunday.
But he also praised Chambers, who looks to have finally turned a corner at the age of 24, following a struggle since his move from Southampton in 2014.
The Gunners boss went with a youthful selection for the opening game of the Premier League season, including three starting academy graduates.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang dinked a 58th-minute winner over Martin Dubravka to hand the Gunners all three points.
After the game Emery said: "Last year for Calum Chambers was a very good year.
"He played all the matches with Fulham, he played centre-back in a three and two, as a defensive midfielder.
"In the pre-season he deserved to play today. He was very focused and with Sokratis as well very seriously.
"I want to have very competitive players in each position, with David Luiz, with [Rob] Holding when he is coming to help us, training regularly and playing minutes.
"He is going to play tomorrow for the Under-23s.
"Also Hector Bellerin is coming back, I think one month more.
"Today we had Sead [Kolasinac] out and Kieran Tierney injured. We want to be strong defensively but above all being an offensive team."
"The circumstances are different. First David Luiz had a pre-season with another team and is OK to play physically, but only trained with us completely [on Saturday].
"On Friday he only trained for 30 minutes.
"I was thinking of giving Sokratis and Chambers confidence because they were working well."
Emery also revealed Nicolas Pepe is looking to make up some fitness ground after his £72m transfer from Lille, while Dani Ceballos played the last 36 minutes in midfield.
PEPE AND CEBALLOS GETTING CLOSER
He added: "Pepe is different. He is now in pre-season.
"He came one week ago, physically he needs to get the best paces, to get fit, to be ready to play 100 per cent for 90 minutes.
"Today 20 minutes is good for him.
"[Dani] Ceballos is in the middle. He came before Pepe and he had an injury and stopped training.
"He needs also to know the Premier League. The first match for him is important for us. That's the reason."
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