Carl Jenkinson has stated that he is “flattered” with Wenger’s faith in him and has to “pinch himself” as he loves Arsenal so much. But the youngster acknowledges he has plenty to improve on before he can become a regular in the first team lineup.
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The meteoric rise of the summer signing from Charlton seemed difficult to comprehend at first as this time last year Jenkinson had yet to play League One football. However now in the absence of injured Bacary Sagna, the youngster has been thrown in the deep end and has become a first team regular in recent weeks.
The youth English and Finland representative has received plenty of plaudits from manager Wenger in recent months after Jenkinsons rapid improvement, and the Frenchman’s faith in the youngster hasn’t gone unnoticed:
Jenkinson told Arsenal Player:
Sometimes, I just have to take a step back and really appreciate where I am.
From me to come to where I was to playing in the Premier League is obviously a big achievement for me.
But the main thing I have to pinch myself about is that I’m actually playing for Arsenal.
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I can’t really portray how special that is for a fan of the club and for someone who comes from a family that loves Arsenal so much.
It’s just a great thing to be becoming a part of Arsenal’s history. Long may it continue.
[On Wenger’s faith in him] It’s a very flattering thing for him to do that and believe in me.
Obviously I’m still young but I do think I am capable of playing. I’ve got the ability and I have it in me to be playing now – it’s just up to me to play well, take my chances and make sure I keep that place.
It’s very nice for him to believe in me and put me in the team in the first place. Obviously over the years he’s put faith in youngsters but when it’s you, you’re that bit more grateful.
There’s a lot more improvement for me to do and I know I have a lot more in me to show it. But I know I have to improve if I want to be a regular at this football club. It’s nice that he thinks that [I am improving] but I know I have a lot more to do to get where I want to be.
I think the main thing was that he saw some potential in me at Charlton. I was playing League One football and was only 18 but I was doing quite well. From what they told me I think Arsenal were quite impressed with my athleticism – the fact that I can get up and down the pitch.
I think they saw that there were many things that I can improve technically but that they could improve when I came here. I think physically they were quite impressed with me but now I’m here I can improve other aspects of my game.
Jenkinson has come on in leaps and bounds since making his debut, and was chosen ahead of Djourou against West Brom recently. His fitness is highly impressive and his work rate is phenomenal and once again Wenger has shown what a fantastic manager he is by trusting in his youth policy, but the young wingback must work harder on his defending and positioning as he has left the back line exposed at times, but you can see him getting stronger and stronger every match.