Carl Jenkinson has come on leaps and bounds since arriving at West Ham on loan from Arsenal last summer.
The 23-year-old put in a man of the match performance for the Young Lions on Monday night as they came from behind to defeat Germany 3-2 in an international friendly – a display that culminated his entire season.
Arsenal fans would like to retain the defender but, while his future remains uncertain, the Daily Star have reported that he will be allowed to join the Hammers on a permanent deal when the summer transfer window opens.
Since arriving at Upton Park the right-back has featured in 27 matches in all competitions and the regular game time has certainly helped progress his development.
He has not only proven to be a great attacking outlet, which has never really been in question, but he has also taken great strides defensively and now looks much more solid and comfortable going back towards his own goal.
His exceptional speed allows his to recover his position quickly and he is a lot stronger in the tackle – he demonstrated both of these factors in the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea a few weeks ago when Diego Costa ran through on goal only to be denied by Jenkinson’s last ditch efforts.
Going forward the defender has been likened to a winger, thus is his attacking threat, and he has two assists for West Ham this season as well as another two in the England under-21s recent comeback victory.
Should the Irons manage to pull off a deal for the Arsenal man in the coming months it’ll be a massive coup for the club.
He’s proven his doubters at the Emirates wrong – including Arsene Wenger, who initially signed him from Charlton Athletic in 2011 – and he now looks a much more complete right-back than any of the Gunners’ other options, but the lack of faith shown in him by the club he supports may well be the driving force behind his move away.
Good news for West Ham but potentially bad news for Arsenal unless they do a U-turn and persuade Jenkinson to stay, although that looks increasingly unlikely.
Do you think West Ham will secure Carl Jenkinson on a permanent deal in the summer? Should Arsenal do everything they can to keep him? Let us know in the comments section below!