Arsenal’s and England U21 international Carl Jenkinson, who has been capped once for the senior side, has had a tough season for the Gunners and the former Charlton defender has been subject of transfer already.
Championship league leaders Brighton United and the team are likely to get promoted to the Premier League, as well as Newcastle United. The duo clubs will be handed a transfer war chest upon arrival in the top flight and they will need to strengthen their ranks to compete in the top-level.
In Rafael Benitez’s side case, his side play with a slightly more conservative style under the Spaniard than they have done in previous seasons. Defensive solidity is paramount to Benitez, the view being that with a solid foundation, the talented attacking players can go and express themselves, just Torres and Gerrard did at Liverpool, or Ronaldo, Benzema, and Bale did at Real Madrid.
Modern attacking full-backs who can provide goals and assists are preferred all around the world, but given the Spanish coach’s philosophy, Jenkinson would be perfect inclusion in his team. If he sticks to a 4-4-2 formations, there will be no need for full-backs in all fairness. The Magpies desperately do need an experience Premier League quality defenders to achieve their goals next season, another player who has been linked to St. James Park is Ryan Shawcross.
Although the Arsenal defender has played only 250 minutes of football this season in the first team, Jenkinson has shown his attributes are tackling, clearing and intercepting, and he would certainly improve Benitez’s defensive line-up. Lack of playing time has been due, in part, to a torn knee ligament that he banjaxed last season, meaning he did not start the season.
Considering his lack of game time and contract embargo with the Gunners, Arsenal may not command a massive fee as he has only one year left on his current deal at the Emirates. At 25-year-old, there’s still plenty to offer if in the right club. Be it Newcastle United or not may depend on whether he is a type of player who gets nosebleeds going any further north than Watford!
Jenkinson’s career so far has seen him start the season at Charlton Athletic, take in loans at Eastbourne Borough and West Ham. It’s heavily southern-based profile but one must also remember that he has a Finnish mother and represented them at under-19 and under-21 level.
One final thing to recommend Jenkinson for Newcastle is his versatility and height. As well as being a right-back by trade, Jenkinson is a very competent centre-back and as such would provide Newcastle with much needed Premier League-class cover in that position when injuries and suspensions inevitably come along in what will be a tough first season back in the big league.