Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson on Thursday, successfully completed his medical on the way to joining London rivals West Ham on a season long loan deal following the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and the suspected promotion of maybe Hector Bellerin from the youth ranks of the North London club. Jenkinson, who deputized for Bacary Sagna last season, seems to have slipped down the perking order at Arsenal with the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle and Calum Chambers from Southampton. The 22-year-old, who was linked to a host of Premier League clubs, all summer long, including Hull City and Southampton, decided to move to the Eastern part of London with West Ham reports have said. He was quoted to have said ‘‘ I was flattered to have a lot of options but deep down, if I was being honest with myself, West Ham was always the place I wanted to go’’.
The calculation of many Arsenal fans is that he didn’t directly lose his place to Chambers but actually to Hector Bellerin, an arsenal academy player who they believe would be promoted to become Mathieu Debuchy’s deputy in the upcoming 2014/2015 season. This thinking is based on the imminent transfer of club captain Thomas Vermaelen and the unlikeliness of Arsene Wenger to bring in another defender, which would mean Arsenal prosecuting the 2014/2015 campaign with just six defenders. Therefore, it makes sense to promote Bellerin and maybe Miquel Ignasi or Isaac Hayden from the youth ranks. The loan move for the Finnish-born Englishman is a developmental strategy that Arsenal has practised in the past, to give confidence and more regular playing time to young players with great potentials for the club. First team players like Jack Wilshere, Joel Campbell, Francis Coquelin and first choice goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny have all had loan spells in clubs in and around Europe and they have been the better for it.
Carl Jenkinson, who joined Arsenal in 2011 from Charlton Athletic, represented both Finland and England at youth level before making his debut for the England National team, popularly known as the three Lions, in 2012. After joining Arsenal for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £1m, he made his competitive debut in the final qualifying round of the UEFA Champions’ League against Udinese, coming on as a second half substitute, replacing injured Johan Djourou early in the second half. His Premier League debut came against Liverpool in August, 2011starting at right back in Bacary Sagna’s absence through injury. He started his second season i.e. 2012/2013 playing the first 5 matches, due to an injury to Bacary Sagna, yet again. He earned plaudits for performance against Manchester City among others, for that period. On May 11, 2014, Jenkinson scored his first senior team goal for Arsenal in the 2-0 victory over Norwich city on the last day of the 2013/2014 season. Internationally, he made his debut and only match for the English National team on 14 November, 2012 coming on as a second half substitute in a friendly against Sweden.
Jenks has demonstrated good burst of energy going forward, with very good crosses and a fair aggression when defending which could be worked upon. Many believe that the key to his firmness at the right back role is consistency. He has had to play bit-part roles at Arsenal since he joined. So, this loan move, hopefully, would provide him that regular stint of games to reach his maximum potential.
Good Luck Jenks! Arsenal loves you!