There was a bit of confusion amongst Arsenal fans when Wenger plucked Jenkinson from Charlton after only 9 appearances for the first team, but his rise over the last 12 months, including a call up to the full England squad has shown not only that Wenger can still spot talent, but more importantly that Arsenal have a potential future star on their hands.
There is no doubt that our young Finglish full back has been a shining light during the first few months of a somewhat indifferent start to the Arsenal season, but is there a fear that the return of Bacary Sagna could put a halt to the meteoric rise of our £1million right back?
Well, personally, I was glad to see the Frenchman back in the starting 11 against QPR, and I hope it continues to be the case as the season progresses. Now don’t get me wrong, Jenks has filled in admirably during Sagna’s absence, but I still feel he is a raw talent who has a lot to learn. He reminds a lot of a young player named Gael
Clichy when he first came to the squad, bags of energy and a willingness to go forward, but also a distinct lack of tactical knowledge and positional sense that was covered over through sheer pace. Clichy never really improved that side of his game at Arsenal, probably due to a lack of a defensive coach at the club during his time, but with Steve Bould now overseeing the Arsenal back 4, Jenks won’t have the same excuse and I believe he has what it takes to develop this side of his game.
The other reason I believe Sagna’s return is a good thing for our young Corporal is to do with the England set up. Jenkinson is knocking on the door of an England right back position that still hasn’t been properly filled since Gary Neville hung up his boots, but I feel being thrust into the International team at this stage could be detrimental to the player and Arsenal. We have all seen what happened with Theo Walcott when he was thrown in at the deep end, and if you look at Kyle Walker’s performances this season you can see the effect that ego can have on a young player. An England set up filled with these big personalities and egos is not where I want to see our future right back learning his trade. I believe he is better off under Wenger and Bould’s stewardship for the foreseeable future so he can develop into the player we all want him to be.
I’ve been really impressed by The Corporals attitude and ability during the start of the season, and I believe his development will continue wether he plays on a weekend or not. He should be starting on Tuesday in the Cup and I think a handful of league appearances mixed with domestic cup appearances this season will see him continue his growth.
Who knows, if Sagna’s words about not signing a new deal at the beginning of the season ring true, then The Corporal may be getting a promotion rather than a demotion some time soon.
Written by slimgingergooner