With the end of the 2013-2014 season, Arsenal fans witness another of their beloved players to leave for title rivals. This time its Bacary Sagna who has decided not to renew his contract with Arsenal and has agreed a deal with Premier League Champions, Manchester City. With his departure confirmed, Arsenal may turn to Carl Jenkinson to succeed Bacary Sagna. But the question on everyone’s mind is:- Is he the right choice?
Carl Jenkinson is a good athlete with good pace and can make some really good passes. He has strength and can hold off opponents from the ball. He is good at getting forward, as seen in the match against Everton, at the Emirates. He is good defensively and he is hungry for success at Arsenal, a characteristic not found in many Arsenal players. He is just 23, showing a lot of potential and room for improvement and development also. With some more match time under his belt, he could become Arsenal’s established RB and the player Arsene Wenger foresaw in him.
Jenkinson himself is eager to fit into Sagna’s shoes, telling the press that he is ready to step up and by no means is leaving Arsenal. The former Charlton Athletic youth player has steadily grown into the Arsenal first team and is an Arsenal man through and through. He has given in some solid displays when Bacary Sagna was out injured, notably when Sagna was injuring a broken leg. Regular football would do Jenkinson’s development a favor and nuture him into a solid Premier League full back.
However, Carl Jenkinson is suspect to errors too. His display against Chelsea showed his inexperience as he was responsible for Chelsea’s first goal when he failed to clear and headed right into the path of Cesar Azpilicueta. Jenkinson’s weakness is his aerial ability despite being the tallest Arsenal fullback. In the 8 – 2 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United, Jenkinson failed to even get a single challenge right and was eventually sent of for two bookable offences.
It should be noted that one or two poor displays do not change the fact that Jenkinson is one of the upcoming talents in English football. Regular football is what he needs and he has the potential to be part of another infamous “Arsenal back 4.” There is no doubt that Arsenal will bring in a replacement for Sagna or just backup to challenge Jenkinson for the spot of Right Back, which they have in Debuchy, bought from Newcastle, but if Jenkinson puts in performances like he did against Bayern Munich and Everton, then there is no doubt that he is ready to succeed Bacary Sagna.