Carl Jenkinson is probably one of the biggest Gooners to ever play for the club. He is an Arsenal fan through and through and the ‘little boy inside him’ truly has a passion for Arsenal, but will Jenkinson be happy to stay with the Gunners if he doesn’t get regular playing time this season?
With the sale of Mathieu Debuchy supposedly on the cards at some time this summer, although there is little progression as of yet, it is anticipated that Carl Jenkinson will step up to the task of being Bellerin’s understudy at Arsenal.
Before Bellerin had broken onto the scene or before Debuchy had signed for Arsenal, Jenkinson was playing second fiddle to Bacary Sagna at Arsenal and got a few games here and there. I have always personally quite liked Jenkinson, although I’m not sure if it’s his passion for the club that impresses me more rather than his performances. The Englishman still has a lot to learn that’s for sure, but I wouldn’t say that he’s been poor in an Arsenal shirt.
Last season for West Ham on loan he was largely disappointing, a string of poor performances saw him dropped from the Hammers side, before injury ruled him out for the rest of the season. It was a season that was incomparable to his previous year, in which he was a very much praised player amongst the West Ham crop.
The issue that Jenkinson faces now is that he is likely to remain at Arsenal this season if Debuchy goes, but that he won’t be getting regular playing time ahead of Hector Bellerin. Bellerin has held down that spot since he first broke onto the scene and so there is little chance of Jenkinson displacing him. Jenkinson will surely make an appearance in some of the cup competitions and possibly as a substitute here and there but I can’t see him being a Premier League regular.
At 24, he still has plenty more years in professional football to offer, but he’s now moving towards the middle of his career and will surely want to be a first team regular.
So what will Jenkinson choose to do or what should Arsene Wenger consider doing with Jenkinson this season? Personally I think we could see Jenkinson remain at Arsenal this year and then if he doesn’t play regularly enough, then he could find himself wanting to move on from Arsenal, no matter how much he may loves the club.