Arsenal legend inspires Carl Jenkinson

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Joining Arsenal from Charlton Athletic in 2011, Jenkinson fulfilled a boyhood dream of one day playing for the Gunners.

Arriving at the Emirates, the young right back was chucked into the deep end, as he had to stand in for an injured Bacary Sagna. 

The Englishman struggled to find his feet at first, especially in the 8-2 defeat against Manchester United where he was sent off. His strength of character saw him through the adverse circumstances, though, and Jenkinson has been solid at the back for Arsenal in recent times.

He’s played in 14 League matches this season and has shown good commitment in defence as well as contributing to attacks with speed and agility, whipping in low crosses and troubling defenders. Positional-wise, he is still learning but has shown considerable improvement over his two seasons with the Gunners.

He says he draws much of his inspiration from former Arsenal right back Lee Dixon.

“If I could have half the career Lee Dixon had, I’ll have done well,” Jenkinson told “That side was a special side and Lee Dixon is the sort of player who I look up to.

“I watched a lot of him even though I was relatively young, and there’s a lot I could learn from him.

“I think Arsenal have been lucky over recent years to be blessed with a lot of top quality right backs, like Dixon, Lauren and Sagna. They’re all players who I can learn a lot from and I have learnt a lot from them.

“Even going back before that, with the likes of Pat Rice, Arsenal have always had great full backs.”

With the rapid improvement that Jenkinson has showed in a short period of time, there is no reason why he won’t follow in the footsteps of his hero. 

Wenger brought the young defender to the Emirates after only a few games at Charlton, clearly seeing great potential in Jenkinson, and the signing might turn out to be yet another master stroke from the French tactician. 

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Carl Jenkinson
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