Carl Jenkinson is 20 years old, a lifelong Arsenal supporter, and a Finnish youth international. He put in 14 appearances for Arsenal a season after playing for League One side Charlton. Four of these were in Europe, including a crucial qualifier against Udinese. Until he developed a stress fracture in his back, Jenkinson was filling in on both sides of defense for Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs.
Carl Jenkinson is 20 years old. He had 22 professional appearances at ANY level prior to debuting for Arsenal.
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Would you have guessed this watching his performances this year? Sure, he looked raw and a little lost at times, but they were arguably less often than the times he looked pretty decent for a young lad. Like his elder (Sagna), Jenkinson is the type of right back who seems to be able to sprint up and down the touchline all day long. His crossing is actually pretty scarily okay (maybe that's just relative to other Arsenal players, though), and despite looking a little overmatched at times this year (not least against Marc-Antoine Fortune in the last match of the year against West Brom, when despite being in good positions, Jenkinson looked a little physically overmatched by the larger Fortune), Jenkinson looks to be good value for the investment so far. Time will tell if he will be the Arsenal right back of the future, but for now, as a backup, he's a solid buy.
Grade: B (small sample size)
Aidan: Carl Jenkinson didn't exactly have a nice, settled transition from League One football to top level football. Instead, he was needed in Arsenal's 2nd game of the season, at home against Udinese, after Kieran Gibbs and Johan Djourou succumbed to hamstring injuries. Jenkinson played well in the next 3 games, but came undone against Ashley Young and Manchester United, getting sent off in the process. He played well in the absence of Bacary Sagna, though, showing excellent energy (The Harlow Cafu?), good strength and pace and is probably the best crosser of the ball at Arsenal. Unfortunately, a back injury kept him out for months, and he only started one more game, away to West Brom. Overall, he's looked fairly promising, and should be a good deputy for Sagna in years to come.
Thomas: Carl Jenkinson's main contribution this season was sartorial: a pretty amusing video on the team site about his ill-conceived pseudomohawk. He was hurt almost all year and when he wasn't, Sagna played. But in a small sample he showed crossing skill and commitment, and looks to be higher quality than the dearly departed Emmanuel Eboue already. Considering he was plucked from League One obscurity, that's not bad.
Paul: Of all the players Arsenal has, Carl Jenkinson is most definitely one of them. He will be a decent player in the future, but for now he's pretty much just another guy in a red shirt; given the small window of opportunity he had, he played OK, and based on that I'm very interested to see how he develops over the next few years. For now, though, I'm just assuming he's the guy that puts out the cones in training.
What say you? Jenkinson?
How do you feel about Jenkinson?
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