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After a two-year wait Arsenal's forgotten man Carl Jenkinson finally has something to smile about

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After a two-year wait Arsenal’s forgotten man Carl Jenkinson finally has something to smile about

  • Carl Jenkinson last played for the Gunners in a League Cup tie in November 2016
  • He joined Birmingham on loan last season but made only seven appearances
  • The defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon  

James Sharpe For Mail Online

You wait 701 days for an Arsenal appearance — and then two come along almost at once. There must be a London joke in there somewhere.

It’s something, at least, for Gunners full-back Carl Jenkinson to smile about. 

Jenkinson, the forgotten man for the best part of two years, earned a second start in just over a week as Unai Emery’s side took another step closer to qualification for the Europa League knock-out stages against Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium.

Carl Jenkinson has had to wait a long time for the chance to impress at Arsenal

Carl Jenkinson has had to wait a long time for the chance to impress at Arsenal

When Jenkinson had been announced in the squad for the previous group match against Sporting last month, where he was an unused substitute, fans had been so surprised to see his name that many admitted they had not realised he was still at the club.

Emery had even named Jenkinson as one of three players who could leave the club this summer alongside David Ospina and Joel Campbell. The other two did depart. Jenkinson, who has a contract until 2020, stayed on.

The 26-year-old returned last week in the Carabao Cup win against League One side Blackpool, his first appearance for Arsenal since another cup outing in November 2016.

The 26-year-old defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon

The 26-year-old defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon

The 26-year-old defender earned a second start in just over a week against Sporting Lisbon

This, though, was a step up. A European fixture, albeit with Arsenal’s passage through the group all but assured. His last one of those had also come two years ago this month in the Champions League against Paris-Saint Germain.

There’s not been much football in between either. Just nine games on loan at Birmingham last season, the former England international’s spell blighted by unfortunate injury and uninspiring form.

It was no surprise, then, to see Jenkinson ease himself into this one on the left side of the defence.

Jenkinson has not played much football recently but he was solid enough on Thursday

Jenkinson has not played much football recently but he was solid enough on Thursday

Jenkinson has not played much football recently but he was solid enough on Thursday

He had not much to do early on, but completed any necessary task with quiet efficiency. No messing around. Thump it into touch instead of trying an intricate turn. A solid tackle on Abdoulay Diaby earned an appreciative round of applause from the home fans. Safety first.

Ventures into the final third were few. Better to keep it simple. It’s been a while, after all. When he did get into crossing positions, there was so must rust on his delivery that they barely landed inside the penalty area.

But he was solid enough.

Jenkinson emerged in the second half ready to elaborate. When he saw a cleared corner arching towards him on the edge of the penalty area he was ready.

Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after being substituted in second half

Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after being substituted in second half

Jenkinson shakes hands with manager Unai Emery after being substituted in second half

Jenkinson took aim, swung so hard both feet left the ground, almost missed the ball completely but still managed to shin it straight to Matteo Guendouzi stood 15 yards behind him.

To his credit, he followed it up moment later with a strong block to deny Diaby again. Back to those basics.

He came off on the hour. Another ripple of applause. A smile. A high-five with Emery.

The Arsenal boss has, in the absence of injured first-choice Nacho Monreal, played three different players at left-back in his last three Premier League games. One of them was central midfielder Granit Xhaka. 

Did Jenkinson do enough to make it four this weekend when Arsenal play Wolves? Perhaps not, although the potential hamstring injury to Stephan Lichtsteiner will boost his chances. 

Regardless, you would think Jenkinson won’t have to wait another 701 days for his next game. 

 



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Arsenal news: Unai Emery decides to sell ONE player in January, replacement lined up

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The Egypt international is yet to play in the Premier League under Emery this season.

Elneny, 26, has been hit and miss since joining the Gunners in 2016 from Basel.

And according to The Sun, Emery is desperate to pocket £15m for Elneny in the January transfer window.

They say Leicester could be a potential landing spot for the defensive midfielder in the New Year.

Should Emery’s wish be granted and Elneny leaves Arsenal, the Gunners want Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals as his replacement.

The 22-year-old will cost just £17.8m due to a release clause in his current contract.

Spain international Fornals has netted three goals and chipped in with two assists in all competitions this season for Villarreal.

Emery was forced to change his January transfer plans following Danny Welbeck’s horror injury.

The striker has more than likely played his last game for Arsenal after breaking his ankle in the Europa League earlier this month.

That leaves Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette as Emery’s only real options up top.

Gunners legend Ray Parlour recently told Express Sport that Emery is already making plans ahead of the January window.

He said: “I’m sure they’ll be positions he wants to. For me centre-half he could probably strengthen.

“But he’s got [Laurent] Koscielny coming back, they’ve missed him.

“He’s a little bit older but I’m sure he’s working hard to get back in the side so I think he’ll assess the situation when it comes to January.

“He’ll be lining people up anyway.”

Arsenal are back in action this weekend against Bournemouth in the Premier League.

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Miguel Almiron coming to Arsenal? – VIDEO Skills, Goals and Assists

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Now that it is quite possible that Arsenal are going to be signing Miguel Almiron from Atlanta in January when the MLS season ends. I must admit that our new scouting team appear to have made very good choices at cheap prices so far, so I am hoping that Almiron turns out to be just as good.

Anyway I thought it would be worth revisiting a couple of videos of his time in the USA for you to check out his skills during the last 12 months. The first one shows all 12 of his goals in 31 games for Atlanta…

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And this one shows Almiron’s goals, skills and assists.

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He looks quite good doesn’t he?

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Spurs compare Paulo Gazzaniga to Diego Maradona

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Tottenham Hotspur have enjoyed having goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga in the Argentina squad for the current international break. Although…

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