Former Leeds United right-back Sam Byram has made a switch to the Premier League this January, with the 22-year-old joining London rivals West Ham United, according to Sky Sports. This could potentially spell the end of the line for the on-loan Carl Jenkinson with the Hammers, which in turn could impact Mathieu Debuchy’s Arsenal career.
Jenkinson enjoyed a fantastic first season with West Ham, and consequently joined them for a second consecutive season-long loan (via The Guardian). He has struggled to hold down a starting berth this season though, and has been restricted to a spot on the bench after being displaced by James Tomkins.
New boss Slaven Bilic clearly isn’t a fan of the young Englishman, and his game time doesn’t look like increasing any time soon. With West Ham getting a new right-back in, they may well have even less use for Jenkinson during the second half of the campaign. He may even struggle to make the bench, which is not what he, Arsenal, or West Ham will want.
There was presumably a fee involved in Jenkinson’s loan, so it won’t be as simple as recalling the 23-year-old. If West Ham are paying his wages though – or even a percentage of them – then they may wish to get him off the books. Bilic is unlikely to want Jenkinson taking up a squad place if he’s not going to play, so we could potentially agree a mutual termination of the loan and bring him back to the Emirates.
This would surely spell the end for Mathieu Debuchy, whose Arsenal career already appears to be hanging in the balance. He has lost his place in the team to Hector Bellerin after a few lengthy injuries last season, and the way the Spaniard has been performing – combined with the abject displays Debuchy himself has put in – there is almost no chance of him getting it back.
The Frenchman has recently been linked with a move away from the Emirates, with Aston Villa a potential destination (via The Telegraph). We can’t afford to let Debuchy go if we don’t have a replacement, but if we were able to bring Jenkinson back to the club then he would be more than able to deputise for Bellerin.
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It would be a tricky deal to get done, and obviously depends on a lot of factors. It could benefit all parties though, and should certainly be attempted if possible.