Carl Jenkinson dismisses Arsenal exit rumours

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Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson has dismissed speculation linking him with a loan move away from the Emirates this summer, and is confident in his ability to replace Bacary Sagna as the club's first choice right-back next season.

In an interview with the London Evening Standard, the former Charlton Athletic star revealed his desire to establish himself in the Gunners first-team in 2014/15 if, as expected, the France international leaves north London upon the expiry of his contract next month.

Sagna has been one of Arsene Wenger's most consistent performers since arriving in England from Auxerre in 2007, but looks to have had his head turned by the huge money on offer to him at Premier League rivals Manchester City.

His anticipated exit has led to speculation linking Arsenal with moves for a number of new full-back options, but Jenkinson believes he has what it takes to succeed as a regular on the right side of Wenger's defence.

"I feel that I am ready for it," he said. "It is never going to be easy to nail down that spot but I believe in myself and I believe in my ability. I want that position to be mine for years to come.

"Of course I have got a long way to go, because this is a club who look for the best players in the world. If I am going to hold down the position for as long as I want to, I have got a lot of hard work on my hands. But I believe in myself."

He added: "I am the sort of player who needs to play regularly to get the best out of me. My fitness and my athleticism is a big part of my game, getting up and down the pitch. It is difficult to show what I can do when I am not playing regularly because it is hard to get into a rhythm."

With Southampton's Calum Chambers and Manchester City's Micah Richards both identified as possible summer targets, Jenkinson could rightfully feel aggrieved if he continues to be overlooked for an Arsenal starting role, but despite that he has no plans to quit the club he has supported since he was a little boy.

"As far as I am concerned, you will have to drag me out of this club before I leave," reiterated the 22-year-old. "I will work my socks off and hopefully next season can be a big one for me.

"If I have a good pre-season, work my way into the team and get a good run of games, there will be no holding me back."

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Carl Jenkinson
Premier League

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