Arsenal saw very little in terms of players coming and going during the January transfer window. Arsene Wenger signed just non-league Cohen Bramall, whilst there was no more movement than a few loan deals on the outgoing front. One player who was reportedly close to leaving the club however, was boyhood Gunner, Carl Jenkinson.
Jenkinson was rumoured to be available for transfer during the transfer window, after Arsene Wenger decided that he no longer held strong intentions to keep Jenkinson as a member of his squad. Jenkinson has been poor since his return to Arsenal and although he has come back from a lengthy injury, he is unlikely to get the run of games he needs to get back into this Arsenal side. Realistically he’s not going to displace Hector Bellerin, whilst Gabriel is now preferred to play at right back over Jenkinson. The boss even picked Debuchy ahead of Jenkinson before the Frenchman was taken off with an injury minutes into his return to the side. Jenkinson’s Arsenal career seems to be over, so why didn’t he leave?
Jenkinson requested an interview with the Telegraph in order to get things straight. There were a lot of rumours going around suggesting the high demands in wages is what broke the deal off, but Jenkinson revealed that wasn’t actually the case. Jenkinson told the Telegraph: “It’s a culmination of things. When you do leave a club like Arsenal, everything needs to be right. It needs to be the right manager and financially – don’t get me wrong, I don’t want silly money – it needs to be right for me.”
“Maybe I won’t get that much football now [until the end of the season] but I’ve still got a 3½-year contract, I’m at Arsenal, played for Arsenal for a number of years. They are not pushing me out of the door but I also know I need to play football.”
What I find odd is that Jenkinson requested the interview to put matters straight and the rumours to bed that he wasn’t being demanding towards Palace on the financial front. Finances of course play a big part of transfers, because at the end of the day it’s a footballers job and they aren’t going to play for free. Regardless of what you feel towards the astronomical wages that footballers are on in comparison to the rest of society, realistically you probably aren’t going to find a single Premier League footballer who settles for less than the average of his ability and status.
Jenkinson therefore states that he doesn’t want silly money, but is that in regards to £50k+ or is he willing to receive a little under or on par as to what he’s earning at Arsenal?
I don’t think Jenkinson was being greedy on the financial front because as the whole interview suggests, the main motivation for him is just wanting to play regularly. Jenkinson recognises that he’s unlikely to get too much game time at Arsenal and so as much as it would hurt him emotionally to leave his boyhood club, it is something he’s likely to consider come the summer. However, if all that he wanted was to play regularly and under a manager he works well with, then the 25 year old’s move to Crystal Palace did certainly seem to collapse due to financial issues and I can only think that’s because the player probably expected a little more than what Palace were offering him.