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What Impact Does Jenkinson’s Injury have on Debuchy’s Future?


Last season, Carl Jenkinson’s stock rose as a footballer under the tutelage of Sam Allardyce. He was an ever-present in the West Ham side that season, missing only six Premier League games. He also played a significant role in their FA Cup campaign, up until their elimination.

At the start of this season, he returned to Arsenal but with Hector Bellerin clearly Arsene Wenger’s first choice and Matt Debuchy still in the reckoning, a decision had to be made about Jenkinson’s future and he was sent back to familiar surroundings, as West Ham took the lad for a second loan spell.

Under Slaven Bilic, things haven’t been that straightforward for Jenkinson. He suffered loss of form and he has featured consistently under the new West Ham management. Over at North London, Debuchy has grown discontent in playing second fiddle to Bellerin and has been trying to facilitate an exit from the Emirates. It’s quite a dicey situation, bearing in mind that the only cover for Bellerin would be Calum Chambers, a relatively inexperienced lad that has been tried in several positions.

However, news emanating from East London is that Jenkinson has suffered a cruciate ligament injury and could be sidelined for nine to 10 months. This is terrible news for Jenkinson as his campaign has come to an end but looking at the situation holistically, Jenkinson will not be available deep into the 2016/17 season, so will the Gunners allow Debuchy to leave the club?

In Chambers, Wenger has a good deputy for Bellerin but with the experienced French defender hell bent on a potential move away, coupled with Jenkinson’s current predicament, Wenger would have a decision to make.

I wish Corporal Jenkinson the best and a speedy recovery.


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Jenkinson Signs New Deal, Loan Moves for Gnabry and Sanogo?

The manager is going to make his first press conference this season as the Gunners as set to take on Singapore Select XI tomorrow and as you’d expect from the journos, the boss will be asked a lot of questions ranging from err…you know the drift.

When he was asked about Carl Jenkinson, the manager had this to say,

Jenkinson has been at the club since 2011 and has played a part-bit role as a right back. He replaced Emmanuel Eboue as Bacary Sagna’s understudy and got extended run-outs when the Frenchman suffered those long term leg injuries. With Sagna leaving for Manchester City, Jenkinson was hoping that the right back berth was his for keeps but Wenger signed an experienced replacement for Sagna in Matt Debuchy but like Sagna, Debuchy had been very unfortunate in his first season with the club, suffering two major injuries that saw him to lose his place to Calum Chambers, then Hector Bellerin.

With the Gunners having three competent right backs in the squad, one wondered what the future held for Jenkinson but the Gunners opted to loan Jenko out to West Ham and he gained a lot of experience, playing 32 of their 38 Premier League games.

According to the Daily Mail, Jenkinson has signed a new deal worth £45,000-per-week till June 2020. The article also reveals that Slaven Bilic has won the race to land Jenkinson this summer, beating Sunderland and Southampton in the race to take the defender on loan. It seems a bit strange to me though, bearing in mind that the Mirror published an article which revealed that the Gunners had reached an agreement with Sunderland over Jenkinson’s services.

Carl Jenkinson in action with Leon Osman

With Debuchy aging and Bellerin hot on his heels, another loan move would be beneficial to Jenkinson because he’s clearly not in the manager’s plans for this season. Good luck to the lad in West Ham, or Sunderland, or wherever he’s going on loan. Bleeeh!

Elsewhere, West Brom are gearing up to make a loan bid for Arsenal speedster, Serge Gnabry (via the Mirror). Gnabry burst into the scene in the 2013/14 season and was influential in the 2-1 win over Swansea, a game he managed to get his first professional goal. The young German suffered a nasty knee injury last season and it sidelined him for the entire campaign but he managed to make his comeback against Newcastle Under-21s.

Gnabry celebrating Swansea goal

Gnabry’s progress has somewhat stifled and he’s not close to breaking into the first team anytime soon, so a loan move to West Brom would be beneficial to the player. It’s going to be interesting to see how things work out but I’m in full support of the youngster playing for West Brom.

Yaya Sanogo is another player that needs to prove himself elsewhere if he wants to make the grade at Arsenal. After playing six games for the Gunners last season, scoring his maiden goal for the club against Dortmund, he was loaned to Crystal Palace and he didn’t light any fireworks at Selhurst Park, scoring one goal in 11 games for the Eagles.

A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Lille was interested in securing a loan move for the Frenchman but nothing materialized. The Independent has reported that Sanogo is close to securing a loan move to Ajax Amsterdam. I believe he could thrive in the EreDivisie but in all honesty, I’m not convinced about Sanogo’s ability. Yes, he has been good at Under-21 level for France and he scored a couple at lowly Auxerre in the French second tier but he shouldn’t be challenging for a first-term berth in an ambitious club like Arsenal.

We can only monitor his situation closely and we would see how things progress.


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What Should We Expect from Arsenal’s English Players this Season?

Will they finally break into the first team setup?

February 14, 2005.

Arsenal is set to play Crystal Palace in Highbury and the squad comes out of the tunnel led by the iconic and talismanic captain, Patrick Vieira. Behind Vieira, I see the mad Jens Lehmann. In no particular order, the lineup had Gael Clichy, Pascal Cygan, Lauren Etame-Mayer, Kolo Toure, Edu, Robert Pires, Jose Antonio Reyes, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Back then, you could have only five players on the bench and the dugout comprised of Manuel Almunia, Philippe Senderos, Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini and Robin van Persie.

Goals from Bergkamp (32′), Reyes (35′), Henry (39′), Vieira (54′) and Henry (77′) helped the Gunners to a resounding 5-1 victory but the game will be forever remember as the match Arsene Wenger selected an entire squad full of foreigners and pundits wondered if the Gunners were going to produce any English talent for the forthcoming World Cup in Germany. Sven-Goran Eriksson went on to invite three Gunners in Ashley Cole, Sol Campbell and a young Theo Walcott.

Fast forward to July 2015 and Arsene Wenger has a squad filled up with foreign talent as well as some great English players. Arsenal currently has seven “first-team” English players in Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calum Chambers, Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson.

Are any of these players the first name you’d see in the first team if Arsene Wenger chooses a squad when everybody is fit? I don’t think so.

It didn’t use to be like this in the past you know? Kieran Gibbs was the heir to Clichy’s throne after he departed to Manchester City but a combination of poor form and his niggling fitness issues paved the way for Nacho Monreal and the Spaniard never looked back. Jack Wilshere’s performances in the 2010/11 campaign were so awesome to the extent he even won the PFA Young Player of the Year award but he couldn’t build on it because he has had a career that has been blighted so badly by injuries. Theo Walcott was Wenger’s first choice on the right wing and he scored a lot of goals for the team but after suffering that ACL injury, he found it difficult to break into the team. The Ox had an extensive run-out this season but injuries halted his progress, Chambers had a great start to the season but poor form saw him lose his place to Hector Bellerin, Welbeck provided a stop-gap option in the wake of Giroud’s injury but he wasn’t a long-term solution and Jenkinson, well, was shipped out on loan because of the new acquisitions.

All the English contingent have their own stories but as it stands, the only way they could feature in the team is when the manager decides to rotate and staunch Arsenal fans know that Wenger doesn’t rotate that much. He’s certainly no rotation god like Rafa Benitez.

So what should we expect from Arsenal’s English contingent this season?

Gibbs should do better this season in challenging Monreal for the left back berth and I really hope he manages to stay fit. Injuries have been a bane to the fullback in his Arsenal career and he still needs to work on his positioning, something Monreal is very excellent at doing. He also needs to work on his output in the final third, because he really struggled to put in quality crosses or key passes when he was clean through on goal.

I consider this campaign a ‘make or break’ one for Jack Wilshere. There’s so much potential for everyone to see but what’s the point of having an asset when it’s more like a liability. Wilshere’s needs to work on giving out the ball in the right time because he has been on the end on some pretty nasty impact challenges due to mistimed tackles from defenders trying to win the ball back. I expect him to feature in the box-to-box role and he has to do his very best when he gets a chance because Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey are ahead of him in the pecking order.

Theo Walcott has to sign a new contract with the club to show his commitment because I don’t think Arsenal needs to go through the drama they did when the club tried to tie him down to a long term contract. On the pitch, he scored four goals in two games he featured as a center forward and he offers Arsenal a different dynamism in attack. It’s going to be interesting to see how Wenger manages the Walcott and Giroud conundrum but if the manager has plans for Theo, I don’t expect to see any addition in this position.

As for the Ox, he needs to improve on his ‘numbers’. I love his directness and ability to take on defenders but the issue I have with the Ox is that he doesn’t rake in the goals and assists on a consistent basis. He’s a player with a lot of potential and he has had his injury worries in the past as well, but he has to do his bit to stay fit and give his manager something to think about.

Calum Chambers had a blistering start to his Arsenal career but he’s way down the pecking order in the right back and center back departments. I expect to see more of the lad in the domestic cup competitions and I hope he latches onto the opportunities he’d get because I don’t expect them to be much.

Welbeck is one lad I have high hopes for but in all honesty he didn’t really prove to me that he has what he takes to lead the line for a club like Arsenal. He needs to improve on his finishing and composure in front of goal. He has age on his side so there’s enough room for improvement opportunities.

Finally, Jenkinson will have to keep doing his thing while he’s out on loan.

I have very high hopes for Arsenal’s English players this season. Let’s just hope they can get the job done.


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