Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Carl Jenkinson is competing for a first-team Arsenal role.
The right-back has been out of action since picking up an injury on loan with West Ham in January, but returned last week in our Under-23’s match against Southampton on Friday.
Arsene Wenger has now insisted that Jenkinson is ready to stake his claim for a role in the first-team squad, which will come as a blow to Mathieu Debuchy, who has already been excluded from the match-day squad for each match this term.
Wenger said: “Now it is down to getting a little bit more competition. He has been out for a very long time, but he’s available to compete again now.
“Carl has been patient and resilient. He has a fantastic mentality and he has worked very hard to come back. He had the support of everybody here at the club and I think he has done extremely well.”
Jenkinson looks set to play as back-up to Hector Bellerin, who still remains as one of the most consistent full-backs in the Premier League following on from his PFA Premier League Team of the Year inclusion last season.
Wenger’s recent claims appear to claim that the England international has a chance of challenging him for his first-team role however, although I find it hard to believe that the Spaniard would come out of the starting line-up unless injured or in need of a rest.
Jenkinson signed a new five-year contract in the summer of 2015, before re-joining West Ham on loan, and clearly is in the long-term plans of the club.
Could Carl challenge Hector this term? Or will he have to settle for a run in the cups?