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Thursday, 9 June 2011

A signing is made

Jenkinson - hopefully he's just the start

This site enjoyed it's first anniversary yesterday. Unfortunately work prevented me from posting a birthday piece. The day wasn't wasted by Arsenal though as we made our first signing of the Summer. It was widely known, I think, that Carl Jenkinson was signing for Arsenal from Charlton and the deal was confirmed yesterday. There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth since then on the grounds that he is not quite the marquee name we would have been hoping for. While most of this is a little unfair on the young man in question I find it perfectly understandable in the circumstances. Sadly there are a few things about the transfer that merely compound the issue right now.
Arsenal weren't actually the people to break the news. Their hand was forced in terms of an official announcement by Charlton Athletic confirming the transfer on their website. Arsenal then, in their usual ham-fisted way, announced to us all that Carl Jenkinson is a 6'1" right-back who can also play in the centre of defence. Why do we need to know that he is over 6' tall and can play in the middle? Did they think that this would begin to calm the clamour from the fans for centre-back cover? Whoever writes the stuff for the official website really should be given a thick-ear for the sort of crap that appears on there.
The Club were also a bit unfortunate that, around thirty minutes after the Jenkinson announcement, Sky reported that Phil Jones was having a medical with Manchester United. I must admit that, at that point, I felt it summed up the gulf between Arsenal and their rivals right now. It struck me that while we were signing kids from the third division (who have made just nine senior appearances) the other big teams were recruiting top young players with two years in the Premier League behind them. When I got home last night I heard on Sky that Jones had held talks with Arsenal and decided to join Man Utd instead. If that is true then I am reassured that Wenger is at least attempting to address the issues. If a player chooses to sign for the Champions, rather than Arsenal (and also stay closer to home) then we can't really complain about the actions of the Club.
With Carl Jenkinson now an Arsenal player I have to assume that he is Bacary Sagna's new understudy. This should mean, surely, that Emmanuel Eboue is one step nearer to the exit door. Whatever we might think of Eboue he is a player of vast Premier League and European Cup experience, making him a fairly valuable commodity, transfer wise. There is talk of a cash, plus player(s), deal involving Gary Cahill (Jones' departure from Blackburn should mean Christopher Samba stays put, thus getting him off the Arsenal radar - and thankfully so as I couldn't see him being a long-term prospect for Arsenal). If that is the case then I reckon Bolton would welcome a player with Eboue's pedigree, and ability to play in at least two positions.
Whatever the case, we have to hope that Carl Jenkinson is the first of many this Summer. Despite the apparent apathy towards his signing from many fans it is not actually directed at the player himself. I know that, once we get going, he will be welcomed by the fans and I hope he has a long and successful time with Arsenal.

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