West Ham would be wise to stump up the cash to sign Carl Jenkinson, amidst reports that they’ve been priced out of a permanent deal for the on-loan Arsenal defender.
The Hammers will need to cough up around £8million to tempt Arsenal into selling the 22-year-old on a permanent basis, but it would be money well spent going on his impact in east London so far this season.
Despite the board and manager’s desire to keep the star, it looks likely they will miss out because of Arsene Wenger’s valuation, unless they can raise funds from other player sales.
The young Englishman has been a revelation at right-back for Sam Allardyce’s outfit this term. It has been Aaron Cresswell on the opposite flank that has received most of the plaudits, but Jenkinson has gone about his business equally effective.
In 10 starts and three substitute appearances he has created eight chances, claiming two assists. His speed and willingness to get forward and join in with attacks has been instrumental, but it is the quality that he can provide in those forward areas which has been the most conspicuous and it is something that was missing last campaign.
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Jenkinson is a strong passer of the ball and can whip in a great cross, which we have seen on numerous occasions this season, with Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia both capitalising on this. He has also been mightily impressive in his own half too, showing great discipline, not diving into tackles and ensuring he tracks runs.
As a young, future England regular, £8million seems a fair price for the quality and potential that Jenkinson possesses.
West Ham may have spent a lot last summer but if they are serious about being real European contenders and joining the so-called ‘elite’ Premier League side’s then these are the types of signings they need to make.
Wenger may be reluctant to sell, but Jenkinson is a seemingly happy Hammer and would in theory prefer to be playing first-team football week-in week-out, rather than being second fiddle to Matheiu Debuchy in the upcoming season.
Guy Demel has been a great servant to the club but at 33, he isn’t on the same level as Jenkinson and can’t be the ideal choice for a place in the starting lineup.
The Irons will apparently turn their attentions to Liverpool man Glen Johnson should they miss out on Jenkinson, which would be an underwhelming replacement.
Johnson, 30, has been a good defender over the years but he is liable to making silly mistakes that often cost his team points. The former England international isn’t as effective as he once was going forward either, although he’d still be a better option than persisting with Demel.
Jenkinson is undoubtedly the best candidate to retain the right-back role and West Ham should do everything they possibly can to tie up a deal for the defender at the end of the season.