Arsenal news – Gunners sign Jenkinson, Gibbs withdraws from Under-21s, New contracts for youngsters

Gunners sign Carl Jenkinson.

19-year-old defender Carl Jenkinson has signed for Arsenal from Charlton Athletic. Although Jenkinson plays primarily as a right-back he is comfortable playing in central defence. At 6”1 the Finnish Under-19 international has the physical presence and aerial ability to cope with life in the Premier League.

Although the official fee for Jenkinson is undisclosed it is believed to be in the region of £1m. The Charlton’s chief executive Steven Kavanagh admitted that “This is a great move for Carl and its difficult to stand in the way of a player when a club the size of Arsenal expresses an interest, particularly if, like Carl, you come from an Arsenal supporting family.”

Jenkinson himself released a statement on Charlton’s website saying “I hope that the supporters will understand why I couldn’t turn such an opportunity down but Charlton will always have a place in my heart.”

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New contracts for youngsters.

Three young Gunners were awarded new contracts at the same time as the signing of Jenkinson was announced. Benik Afobe, Chuks Aneke and Oguzhan Ozyakup were all rewarded for their good form with extensions to their current deals. While Afobe and Aneke both came through the Hale End Academy at ages eight and seven respectively Ozyakup arrived from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar two seasons ago.

All three have appeared at international level for their countries. Afobe is a former England Youth international while Aneke has been capped at Under-18’s. Ozyakup has also been called up to the Dutch youth side. All three were instrumental in the Arsenal Under-18’s winning the Premier Academy League title in 2010 and the new contracts show how much faith manager Arsene Wenger has in their ability to step up and jockey for a first team place in the near future.

Gibbs withdraws from Under-21s.

Kieran Gibbs has been forced to withdraw from the England Under-21’s ahead of the Under-21 Championship in Denmark. The young defender picked up an injury during the 2-0 victory over Norway and was forced to go for a scan on his ankle. Manager Stuart Pearce expressed his sympathy telling Sky Sports: “It’s unfortunate for Kieran, but he went for a scan yesterday and is in a medical boot.”

Gibbs has had a bad time with injuries over the past few years and there are concerns about the extent to which his development is being curtailed by the constant interruptions. It had been hoped that Gibbs would be seriously challenging Gael Clichy for the full-back spot by now after his promising breakthrough into the first team squad.


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