Carl Jenkinson made his senior return for Arsenal after being sidelined for the best part of nine months.
The right-back started against Reading in the EFL Cup after picking up a knee injury while on loan at West Ham. Said knee injury had to be operated on and therefore kept him out for months. He made his first return for Arsenal’s u23s recently and has obviously progressed enough that Arsene Wenger felt comfortable starting him against Reading.
The defender began well, getting forward and even having a shot on target. It was practically right at the keeper and he headed the rebound over the bar but the intent was there.
After this, he didn’t really get forward unless he was really sure. He didn’t make any notable mistakes and despite perhaps not being as sharp as he should be since he has been out for the best part of a year, he looked solid.
Something that I always forget is how fast Jenko is and on more than one occasion, the big guy made blistering runs up the pitch. However, he was cautious enough to return back to his position more or less straight away, showing that he’s very aware of not putting a foot wrong. He knows how big the stakes are and how well Hector Bellerin is doing for the first team; he can’t afford to make mistakes.
All in all, Jenko had a decent return and I’m sure he’s just happy to get back on the pitch and pleased with the 2-0 win.
With time, the cobwebs should blow away and he should get some more appearances, if only in the FA and League Cups.
Good to have you back, Jenko.