Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson caps progress with England declaration

Sharethematch.com takes a look Carl Jenkinson's progress at Arsenal since joining the club from Charlton Athletic in June 2011

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Arsene Wenger signed Carl Jenkinson in June 2011 Photo: Back Page Images

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The curious case of Carl Jenkinson

Carl Jenkinson’s arrival at The Emirates from Charlton in June 2011 was met with a few raised eyebrows but Arsene Wenger appears to have unearthed another gem.

His role in the club’s 8-2 bashing at the hands of Manchester United last season had Gunners fans despairing their manager had picked up a League One defender.

However, Jenkinson was only 19 at the time, and people’s tendency to write off youngsters is too common these days and something that, in this instance, is being made to look rather foolish.

Jenkinson once again began the new campaign in shaky fashion, but has since filled the experienced boots of Bacary Sagna better than the Arsenal faithful ever imagined.

The full-back is now officially in the international reckoning, despite Finland looking to pinch him – his mother descends from the Nordic country, which he has represented at Under-21 level.

With Glen Johnson and the ever-impressive Kyle Walker in his way, Jenkinson has a tough challenge on his hands to break into the England team over the next few years.

He is, however, doing all the right things at the moment. The most pressing question is what Wenger will do when Sagna returns.

Di Santo ready to fire up Latics

Latics frontman Franco Di Santo is hoping to return to his side fighting fit after the international break – and Wigan could certainly do with his services.

The Argentine had a sterling start to the season, netting twice in the first three games with goals against Southampton and Stoke.

But a reckless challenge from Danny Welbeck at Old Trafford on 15 September, which left his manager Roberto Martínez fuming at referee Michael Oliver for only brandishing a yellow card, stopped him in his tracks with a calf injury.

He missed the home defeat to Fulham and the Capital One Cup win at West Ham but came off the bench in the 1-0 loss at Sunderland and started in the 2-2 draw with Everton, in which he scored.

Now he is confident that a prolonged period of rest will have him back on track – starting with Saturday’s visit to Swansea.

“I am nearly back to 100 per cent and hopefully by the end of the international break I’ll be back to where I was,” Di Santo said.

“This break is a good opportunity for everyone to work on their fitness as well as skills, and I don’t think I am far away from where I want to be.

“I wasn’t happy with the tackle at Old Trafford but I also appreciate it could have been much worse.

“That’s all in the past now, though, it’s forgotten. All that matters is the next game against Swansea.”

The return of Di Santo may herald an exciting partnership with fellow striker Arouna Kone. The Ivorian has scored three so far this campaign, but needs help as Wigan’s goal tally stands at only seven.

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