Jenkinson to West Ham: A New Chapter in his Fledging Career
When Arsenal signed Carl Jenkinson from Charlton in 2011, the fans wondered if he was good enough to deputise for the ever-consistent Bacary Sagna and a few eyebrows were raised. However, no one could doubt his love for the club as he had been a Gooner through and through. The lad’s stamina is really exceptional – he often runs from his home to Arsenal’s London Colney training ground and after rigorous training with his teammates, he runs back home in an 18-mile round trip.
He didn’t waste any time in making his Arsenal debut, in the Champions League Knockout fixture against Udinese when he came on a sub for the injured Johan Djourou . He made his Premier League debut in the home loss to Liverpool and was sent off in the 8-2 demolition at Old Trafford.
With Bacary Sagna suffering an unfortunate lower leg fracture at White Hart Lane, Jenkinson didn’t get a chance to capitalise on that as he suffered a stress fracture in his lower back, ruling him out for three months. At the tail end of the season, Sagna suffered a recurrence of the leg injury, missing Euro 2012 and Jenkinson had an extended run of games at the start of the 2012/13 season.
Arsenal showed faith in the lad by handing him a new long term contract in December 2012 alongside his fellow Brits. At the start of last season, injuries to Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny allowed Jenkinson another extended run of games as Sagna deputised at center back. He notched up his first assist against Sunderland and managed another against Hull. He managed to notch up 22 apps in the course of the campaign and with Sagna’s future in doubt, Jenkinson relished a first team berth in the new campaign.
However, Arsenal replaced Sagna with his compatriot, Matt Debuchy and shortly afterwards, the Gunners signed a young prospect in Calum Chambers, a versatile lad that is tipped for great things at the Emirates.
Many believed that Jenkinson’s place was under threat as Chambers was adept in the right back position and many feared for the worst when Hull City made a bid for the lad. However, Arsene Wenger, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to send Jenkinson on loan to West Ham, a move that has been lauded by the Arsenal faithful.
At West Ham, Jenkinson would challenge the incumbent right back, Guy Demel, and Arsenal fans are hoping that it’s going to be a battle the Englishman wins.
Jenkinson will also be afforded a chance to improve on his crossing as it’s evident that the Hammers play a style of football that favors aerial balls into the box, with Andy Carroll serving as the focal point of attack. This would be beneficial to the young lad, because crossing is one of his assets he needs to hone to perfection.
Jenkinson’s loan to West Ham is also a great move bearing in mind that he remains in the Premier League, a division known for his competitiveness and he’d come up against the big guns of the league, as well as those smaller teams that are thorns in the flesh.
I wish Jenkinson all the best and I hope he returns back a stronger lad to fight for his place in the 2015/16 season.