Carl Jenkinson believes he can replace Bacary Sagna at Arsenal, saving Arsene Wenger the need to go into the transfer market, Sky
Sagna’s contract will expire at the end of the season and the France international is expected to leave, having been an Arsenal player since 2007.
Jenkinson is the only other natural right-back in Wenger’s squad and it has been suggested the manager will bring in a new face to account for the loss of Sagna. But Jenkinson believes that if given the chance, he can step in for his outward-bound teammate.
“I feel I am ready for it,” the 22-year-old said. “It is never going to be easy to nail down that spot, but I believe in myself and I believe in my ability.
“I want that position to be mine for years to come. Of course I have got a long way to go, because this is a club who look for the best players in the world.
“If I am going to hold down the position for as long as I want to, I have got a lot of hard work on my hands. But I believe in myself.”
Jenkinson added that he feels he needs time to prove himself, and rejected the idea he could go out on loan in order to get regular playing time. “I am the sort of player who needs to play regularly to get the best out of me,” he continued.
“My fitness and athleticism is a big part of my game, getting up and down the pitch. It is difficult to show what I can do when I am not playing regularly because it is hard to get into a rhythm.
“As far as I am concerned, you will have to drag me out of this club before I leave. I will work my socks off and hopefully next season can be a big one for me. If I have a good pre-season, work my way into the team and get a good run of games, there will be no holding me back.”
Jenkinson made 16 starts for Arsenal last season and a further eight appearances as a substitute, scoring twice. He played for Charlton Athletic before moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2011.
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