Boss backs Jenkinson ahead of EFL return

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Arsene Wenger has given his backing to Carl Jenkinson ahead of tonight’s EFL Cup game against Southampton.

The 24 year old was not in the squad at all for Sunday’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth, as the manager gave a chance to Mathieu Debuchy. Sadly for the Frenchman, he lasted just 15 minutes before departing with a hamstring injury.

Wenger confirmed Jenkinson would play tonight, and explained his absence at the weekend.

“Carl Jenkinson will play,” he said. “I rested him completely against Bournemouth because he played two big games and I felt he needed a breather.

“Sometimes, mentally three games in a week demands a lot. Carl’s back in tomorrow and we’ll put Gabriel in the centre, and then we will see for Saturday.”

“You forget that it’s a big ask,” he continued. “Carl is very conscientious and it takes him time to play completely with freedom.

“He needs a run of games to play with freedom, so the fact that he can get another game tomorrow, I think we’ll already see a different Carl.”

Summer signing Rob Holding will make his 6th Arsenal appearance when he partners Gabriel in the centre of the defence.

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