Carl Jenkinson, the Arsenal right back, has been strongly linked with a move to B6 in the next transfer window. Having recovered from a serious knee injury which saw him miss most of 2016, Jenkinson played his first game for the Gunners against Reading recently.
However, a series of below-par performances saw him lose his place not only in the first team – Hector Bellerin was out for a few weeks recently – but not even included on the bench. Arsène Wenger said after Arsenal’s 0 – 2 EFL Cup at home to Southampton:
He has lost confidence because the Jenkinson you see at the moment is the Jenkinson who can play, but is not completely Jenkinson because he has no confidence. That will come back. It is natural and very difficult.
Jenkinson has not played for a long long period. You think you are there and you will only realise in six months that he is not completely there. And then you will play and realise you are not as good as you think you should be and you lose confidence. He is going through that period at the moment.
It’s not encouraging but we have to recognise that Jenkinson was out for around ten months. It’s bound to affect his confidence or performance levels, especially knowing that no matter how well he played, Hector Bellerin is going to get straight back into the side.
So what will we be getting for our money? We asked YW from well-respected Arsenal blog, A Cultured Left Foot, what we would be getting for our money:
Carl Jenkinson is linked with a move to Aston Villa but why would he leave Arsenal?
Jenks is a good full back but his fundamental problem is that he isn’t Hector Bellerin. When we signed him from Charlton, a song and dance was made about him being a childhood Arsenal supporter. Photos of him with Arsenal paraphernalia in his bedroom; this was a fan living the dream. He made a promising start but once Bellerin began shining, there was no doubt who the better player was.
He’d probably have moved to West Ham last summer if he’d been fit. He’s been capped by England in 2012, so he’s got ambitions to fulfil but that’s probably not going to happen at Arsenal.
Unless Bellerin leaves – and there’s no indication that’s likely to happen any time soon – Jenkinson is an understudy at a big club when he could be a first team player elsewhere?
Will he make an impact at Villa?
If Steve Bruce gives him a chance, yes. Jenkinson is enthusiastic and has plenty of energy. His crossing can be erratic but he’s not scared to join the attack but he can be slow to recover his position. I’m sure Bruce knows that so if he signs him on loan, he’ll work on that. If Villa use him as a wing back in a 3 – 4 – 2 – 1, you might see the best of him.
Is he a Premier League player or is the Championship his true level?
He’s definitely good enough for the Championship and I’d say he’s a good mid-table Premier League club player. At the moment, he isn’t any higher but that might come. If Villa can get him firing on all cylinders, he’s definitely someone who could make a difference.
Thanks to YW for taking the time to talk to us.