Tottenham must keep Chelsea target Benoît Assou-Ekotto
Sharethematch.com takes a look at the future of Tottenham defender Benoît Assou-Ekotto amid interest from Chelsea
Assou-Ekotto has to stay at Tottenham
With Ashley Cole expected to leave Chelsea either at Christmas or in the summer, Benoît Assou-Ekotto is a surprise tip to replace him.
Much-maligned around the Premier League, Assou-Ekotto has become an influential player at Spurs and it would be a surprise to let him go.
The Cameroon international has been injured in the early weeks of the season, forcing Andre Villas-Boas to rely on the likes of Kyle Naughton and Jan Vertonghen.
Both have coped admirably out of position, Naughton demonstrating that like Kyle Walker, he has learned a lot from his loan spells.
Vertonghen is clearly a class act and has looked just as comfortable on the flank as in the central role.
However, centre-half is a position which has been a problem area for a while and to have a player of the calibre and consistency of Vertonghen there is important.
Naughton, while impressive, is still raw, which leaves Assou-Ekotto as the best option and a valuable member of the squad.
Just because there are finally options to step in when he is unavailable – last season Danny Rose and Gareth Bale had to pick up the slack – does not mean that Spurs should let Assou-Ekotto go, especially not to one of their rivals for the top four.
Gunners starlet Jenkinson silencing doubters
Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson spent the weekend training with Roy Hodgson’s England at London Colney – what an incredible transformation for a youngster who really struggled last season.
The Finland Under-21 starlet has been tipped for international honours with England after an impressive start to the season for Arsenal, where he has been an ever-present for his club in the Premier League and Champions League.
Jenkinson made just 14 appearances for the Gunners last term, five from the substitute’s bench, and in the absence of injured French defender Bacary Sagna has made nine starts for Arsene Wenger’s men this campaign.
Jenkinson arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 2011 – he had been on loan at Eastbourne Borough just seven months previous to his Emirates move from Charlton.
He featured in the embarrassing 8-2 rout by Manchester United at Old Trafford, where he was hopelessly exposed by Nani and even had a high-profile row with England winger and club-colleague Theo Walcott in the process.
His performances did not improve and it appeared Wenger had signed a below-par full-back from the lower leagues, who was never going to make his mark in the Premier League, let alone in the Champions League or at international level for England.
The days of plucking uncut gems from the Football League appear to be over for the top four or five clubs in the Premier League, barring in exceptional circumstances to obtain the signature of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott or Gareth Bale.
Under George Graham, Arsenal signed Steve Bould, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon all from the Football League – but in a results-driven business, Gunners fans demand big-name signings now who will immediately make a difference.
Such has been Jenkinson’s progress this season, Sagna could struggle to win back the right-back berth at Arsenal, while it seems likely the French defender will be sold next summer to Internazionale or Real Madrid.