Carl Jenkinson has confirmed that it was Arsene Wenger’s decision to send him on loan to West Ham from Arsenal this summer - and the right-back says he is not concerned about the Gunners’ current injury crisis.
Wenger allowed Jenkinson to join the Hammers on a season-long loan deal after securing the services of France international Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United.
Debuchy out for three months
However, Debuchy has been ruled out of action for three months after undergoing an ankle operation, leaving Arsenal without a recognised right-back in their squad.
Versatile £16 million summer signing Calum Chambers is expected to fill in at right-back for the next few months, but Arsenal supporters have been left scratching their heads wondering why Jenkinson was allowed to leave the club following the sale of Bacary Sagna to Manchester City.
The 22-year-old, however, insists he is fully focused on progressing at Upton Park - and is hoping to make his first start for his new club against Manchester United on Saturday.
Jenkinson: Wenger allowed me to go
"At the end of the day I can't think too much about Arsenal, I have a job to do here. It has been a frustrating start but I am feeling fit and strong,” the England international told reporters. "I know Arsenal have a bit of an injury crisis over there at the moment but it was the boss's decision to allow me to go on loan. I think in the long term it will be the best thing for me and the club for sure.”
Jenkinson could start v Man United
Jenkinson went on to state that he is now fit to play, after missing almost two months with a hamstring injury sustained on his first start for the Hammers against Malaga in Gelsenkirchen, and hopes that Sam Allardyce selects him for the visit to Old Trafford.
"The coaching staff and physios are being careful with me as I was out for six weeks and before the Hull game I only trained for two days,” the former Finland Under-21 international added. "I was out for quite a long time, you can't just throw someone back in. I don't know whether I will start from now on but my fitness feels good and I will keep working hard but it is the gaffers decision. I think I am ready to start.”
Jenkinson won over Arsenal fans
Jenkinson was a much-maligned figure at Arsenal in his first two seasons at the Emirates Stadium following his surprise move from Charlton Athletic in 2011, but he won supporters over with his improved performances last term.
This made it all the more surprising that Wenger opted to send Jenkinson out on loan for the season, rather than offering him the chance to compete with Debuchy for the right-back position.
Arsenal’s loss has been West Ham’s gain, but Jenkinson now faces the difficult task of ousting Guy Demel in the Hammers’ starting line-up.
Jenkinson replaced the Ivory Coast international in the second half of Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool, and could be handed his first start against fallen giants Manchester United this weekend.