Arsenal right back Carl Jenkinson had played amongst the Finland national team’s development teams over the course of his professional career however after making his debut for England last year, the defender is now fully focused on maintaining a regular spot at Arsenal and hopefully being involved for next year’s 2014 World Cup, hosted in Brazil.
Jenkinson said; “Hopefully I’ll get more playing time than I did last year because that was a bit frustrating at times but I think this is an opportunity to show I’m ready. If I can play in some of these games then I think I can show that I can play week-in and week-out. Bacary finished up playing every week last season. Most people would say he’s first choice. He’s a fantastic player and has been for many years. I’ve got the utmost respect for him. But he knows I want to push him for his place. I hope I can push on to the next level and ultimately take his place and play every week.”
Jenkinson is already a fan favourite amongst the Arsenal fans and many actually want him to replace Sagna as the club’s regular right back however I still feel Sagna will get the nod at the start of the season purely down to experience.
I think this is personally wrong because ultimately to benefit the most, you should play your best current players and if Jenkinson is constantly outperforming Sagna then I see no reason why we shouldn’t drop the experienced Frenchman, especially after his inconsistent performances last season.
I would be delighted to see Jenkinson become Arsenal’s main right back and after two years with the club, I feel that he may now be ready to make the step up to being a regular in the first team. But as well as being a regular in the Arsenal team, Jenkinson also has high hopes of taking a place in England’s 2014 World Cup squad.
“It would be a dream for me to go to a World Cup” Jenkinson said. “And if I can play for Arsenal every week then I would give myself a chance, but that’s a big target for me. I like to think that I’m still in his plans. But he doesn’t pick many players who aren’t playing regularly so that’s got to be the challenge to me. Everyone wants to play in the World Cup. That’s the pinnacle. As a player you feel a bit more pressure, because it’s so important for any player. It’s a huge year for me.”
Although I feel that he is capable of replacing Glen Johnson in the England set up, I think Spurs’ Kyle Walker will get the nod ahead of Jenko, so it could be some time before we see him playing for his national side, however surely right now the most important thing is that he focuses on retaining at regular starting spot at Arsenal.