With the sale of Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United now official, the hunt is on for Crystal Palace to find a replacement at right-back, and one name that has popped up is Carl Jenkinson.
According to the Sun, the Eagles are interested in Arsenal right-back Jenkinson, who could be available this summer for just £5 million with the former Charlton defender having just one year remaining on his current deal at the Emirates.
Despite being an Arsenal fan favourite for his love of the club via the Times (subscription needed), Jenkinson is a player that has seen little playing time over the past 12 months at the north London side, playing just eight times for the Gunners, with the majority of those appearances coming in cup competitions.
With Hector Bellerin expected to miss the start of next season according to the Evening Standard and Stephan Lichtsteiner released after just one year at Arsenal, Jenkinson heads into the new campaign as the most experienced specialist right-back fit for action for the club, though that doesn’t mean he should stay.
Indeed, when Bellerin ruptured his ACL last season it was Ainsley Maitland-Niles who was chosen by Emery to be the Spaniard’s replacement for the rest of the campaign as the Hale End academy product made 16 appearances at right-back and right wing-back following the injury to the Spain international, whereas Jenkinson made just four appearances during that time.
At Palace, though, Jenkinson is said to be eyed as a replacement for a first-team star, meaning he may not only be playing first-team football but will also be guided by a manager who is a fan of his in Roy Hodgson, the man who handed the right-back his first England call-up in 2012.
Former England coach Hodgson battled to get the player eligible for the Three Lions after he appeared for Finland’s U21 side, saying (via ESPN in 2012) that ‘I made it clear to him then that if he did want to play for England, I would include him in this squad and I intend to keep that promise’, so he does appear to rate him fairly highly, as the more recent links would suggest.
Based on appearances last season, it is seemingly unlikely that Jenkinson will have an important role in the future with Emery handing the right-back spot to Maitland-Niles for the time being, and with a chance at first-team football in the Premier League on offer, that is something the 27-year-old surely can’t turn down in this stage of his career.
If they can get rid, the Gunners should be doing all they can to do so, considering the fact he’s thought to rake in £45kp/w (per Spotrac) and has done little to justify such an outlay in recent seasons.
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