Carl Jenkinson has reflected on his first few months as an Arsenal player and confirmed that he has played far more first team minutes than he had ever expected.
The 19-year-old right-back was drafted in from Charlton during the summer in a move which raised eyebrows across the red side of North London. Installed as first choice back-up to Bacary Sagna in the aftermath of Emmanuel Eboue’s sale, the inexperienced teen has since been forced into regular action at the Emirates with his French mentor spending time on the sidelines.
Interviewed by teammate Johna Djourou for Arsenal Player, Jenkinson explained how he was living the dream having previously watched the Gunners from the terraces as a supporter.
“I’m really enjoying myself. Obviously I support Arsenal and I have since I was a kid so [my enjoyment] explains itself.
“To be playing for Arsenal, the team I’ve supported all my life, is unbelievable really and I’m just very excited to be here and to be doing my best for the club.”
Having been sent off in the 8-2 drubbing at Manchester United, the Jenkinson has certainly experienced something of a baptism of fire. However with a creditable performance away at Marseille under his belt, and with a cameo showing in Saturday’s win at Stamford Bridge, the summer signing appears to be growing in confidence.
“Obviously the results have been mixed. Manchester United was very disappointing, but then I’ve had the high of [beating] Chelsea which was unbelievable.
“You’re going to have ups and downs in football, but overall it has been really exciting and I’ve played a lot more games than I was expecting. I think I’ve made ten appearances now in my first year.
“There’s still a long time to go so it’s really exciting for me and I’m really enjoying it every time I pull on an Arsenal shirt.”
Arriving at the club at the same time as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson confirmed that he had struck up a good off-field rapport with the Southampton Academy graduate. Alas, pushed by Djourou to name a player in Wenger’s squad who annoyed him, he couldn’t help but take a dig at his new mate’s apparent bad dress-sence.
“I’m good mates with Alex Chamberlain, he’s quite a good guy, but some of the clothes he wears…I must say they annoy me.
“I’ve never seen a dress sense like it. I don’t know what he’s doing with himself. It’s awful…but there we go, some people do struggle.”