Arsene Wenger says he wants to keep Carl Jenkinson at the club despite the right-back situation making his future something of a doubt.
The boyhood Arsenal fan has spent this season on loan at West Ham and done very well for Sam Allardyce’s side – and when a player goes on loan that’s what you want to see.
However, with injury costing Mathieu Debuchy most of his debut season at the club, the door opened for Hector Bellerin and the young Spaniard has taken his chance with aplomb.
Calum Chambers is also an option there, but in the long-term is likely to play more centrally. Still, even with so many choices, the Arsenal manager says he wants to keep the former Charlton man, but he’s not sure if he’ll be part of the squad next season.
“I met Carl this week to speak about his future,” he said. “We will sit down together at the end of the season, but my target is to keep him here at the club.
“He has had a great season for me and he has moved forward and overall he has gained a lot of confidence.
“The decision I have to make is do I bring him back now or does he need one more year now to play in the Premier League. It is not decided yet.”
With Debuchy and Bellerin set to battle it out for the first choice spot, it wouldn’t do Jenkinson’s development any good not to play, so another loan spell is a possibility.
“He needs experience,” said Wenger. “Carl is a young, very promising right back with top quality and he had a good year where he has really moved forward. It’s important that he has a good chance to play if he comes back.”
One quality that Jenkinson excels in that the others don’t is his dressing room repartee which could be to his advantage as the Arsenal manager admits, “He has a lovely banter.”