Jenkinson back in training!
Arsenal’s defence is looking stronger than it ever has in recent years, with a back line of Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny and Monreal, proving to be very effective for the Gunners. Even our backup options of Gabriel, Mertesacker, Holding and Gibbs, the latter two especially, look like more than capable options for the starting eleven. The good news for Arsenal fans is that there’s even more to come regarding our defensive options, as one of our long term injury absentees, Carl Jenkinson has now returned to training.
When Jenkinson broke onto the scene at Arsenal after his move from Charlton in 2011, he looked shaky and left himself vulnerable at times, but he was also a youngster who clearly had talent. At the time, he was backup to Bacary Sagna and with the Frenchman ageing and thus nearing an Arsenal exit, many thought that perhaps Jenkinson would be a likely replacement. Jenkinson was therefore nurtured into the side and his passion as a Gooner himself made him a firm favourite of the fans.
Jenkinson then went out on loan to West Ham to gain some valuable experience, playing regularly for a Premier League side, only for the right back to slowly see his form fade. Jenkinson eventually picked up an injury which was so serious, he returned to Arsenal to heal and then improve his fitness. However currently as of today, Jenko returns to training after spending most of 2016 on the treatment table.
Of course on his return to Arsenal, much has changed, having seen Sagna left and replaced by Debuchy, whilst fellow young right back Hector Bellerin currently occupies the starting eleven spot. So upon return to training, does Jenkinson now stand a chance of claiming the right back spot for years to come, as he was expected to before his loan move away?
In my opinion, Jenkinson doesn’t have a chance of being a regular for Arsenal as long as Bellerin is at the club. Unfortunately for Jenkinson as well, Bellerin is three years younger than the English right back and so as it stands, so long as Bellerin doesn’t leave under the approaches from Barcelona, I think Jenkinson’s chances of breaking back into the team are over. It’s a shame for the player given his passion for Arsenal, however just because he isn’t likely to be a regular, doesn’t mean that his career is completely over. If I was in the manager’s shoes, Jenkinson would replace Debuchy as back up, and give the Englishman a role to play in the domestic cup competitions.
Where do you think Jenkinson currently stands at Arsenal?