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It’s hard to believe that the Carl Jenkinson that has made such a great start to the season is the same that played at Old Trafford on that dreadful day last season.
Within a year we have seen Jenkinson transform from the inexperienced, nervy, shambles he was at the beginning of last season to the talented, young right back who has been putting in consistently solid displays since the season began. There has even been some calls for him to be in the England squad.
I must admit at times I have (wrongly) said he is nowhere near good enough for Arsenal, but I am very glad to have been proved wrong by Carl. To me, it looks like he has shades of Gary Neville in him. He may not be the most technically gifted player at Arsenal but he will sure as hell work the hardest – he is a lifelong Gooner, after all.
Gary Neville said this about him, “But you look at the way he’s performing now and he’s been magnificent for Arsenal in the early stages of the season.”
High praise from one of England’s best right-backs of recent times.
Jenkinson’s energy and astounding fitness levels mean he can go up and down the pitch for 90 minutes to help out in both attack and defence seamlessly; the match vs. Man City at the Eithad is a perfect example of this.
He is also tall, for a full back at least, which helps massively against teams such as Stoke and West Ham who are big threats from set-pieces. Another of his attributes is his crossing ability, he can whip a ball into the box with pace and reasonable accuracy. If he make his final ball more consistent, he will add an extra attacking dimension to Arsenal.
There has been some suggestions that he should retain his place in Arsenal’s starting XI even when Bacary Sagna returns from injury. Bacary Sagna has been by far the best right-back in the Premier League for some time and to keep him out of the team would show just how far ‘Corporal’ Jenkinson has come.
Written by Charlie Smith
Follow him on Twitter @csmithafc
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