It seems mad to think that from out of all the players from the ‘British core’ at Arsenal, only Carl Jenkinson remains at the club, but even he could find himself out the exit door.
The right-back failed to make much of an impact under new boss Unai Emery in their first season together in north London with Jenkinson making just eight first-team appearances for the Gunners, and with one year left on his contract, the former Charlton prospect could be one of the many names likely to leave the Emirates this summer.
And with that information, it is now being reported by the Sun that Celtic are interested in Jenkinson with the Scottish giants keen on bolstering their right-back options this transfer window, and here are two reasons why the Arsenal man could be a coup for the Hoops…
Versatility across the backline
Although Jenkinson was hardly used last season by Emery despite being fit for the majority of the campaign, the Spaniard was able to discover a new way to get the best out of the defender in cup competitions when fixture congestion was at its peak.
Mainly a right-back, Emery utilised Jenkinson in a variety of different positions for the Gunners over the course of the year, from centre-back against Vorskla in the Europa League to left-back against Blackpool in the League Cup, and the crazy thing was that the defender excelled well in these unnatural roles.
Arsenal kept two clean sheets out of the five games Jenkinson played away from the right-back position and won four of them, and this new-found versatility could be some Celtic can exploit massively if they are to sign the Gunners defender.
Premier League quality signing
Now before you laugh at that statement, hear us out. Has Jenkinson underperformed in recent seasons largely due to injury? Yes, but that doesn’t mean his talent has magically disappeared, and at Celtic with regular minutes, the right-back can become a vital player for the Scottish side.
In his last full season of first-team football, during the 2014/15 season with West Ham whilst on loan, the defender was a solid option for the Hammers that year, starting 29 times for the east London side, assisting twice, and putting up a pass completion rate of 78.3% as well as averaging 1.5 long balls per game.
As well as exhibiting some decent numbers, Jenkinson’s experience of playing against some of the best players in world football means he will be more than capable of dealing with attackers of the quality of the Scottish Premier League, and playing for a club like Celtic will only make it easier for the former England international.