Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Carl Jenkinson will be added to his England squad to face Sweden on Wednesday should the necessary FIFA clearance be received in the next two days.
The Arsenal youngster has impressed in the opening months as cover for Bacary Sagna and was rewarded with an informal invitation to train with the Three Lions before last month’s World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Poland. Although the former Charlton player has had to sit on the bench since the French international’s return, it looks as though he’s still very much in England’s plans for the future.
Speaking to the FA website, Hodgson revealed the reasons for Jenkinson’s name being absent from this morning’s squad announcement.
“The reason I didn’t include Carl from the start is because we haven’t, at this moment in time, got clearance from FIFA but we do believe that they are going to grant that clearance within a day or two.
“So by next Wednesday, he will be clear to play. He wants to play for England and has made that clear so we applied for permission to FIFA, as one is allowed to do, immediately after he left us and before we set off for Poland.
“That was a month ago, but I didn’t want to put his name down in a squad until such time as I’ve got FIFA clearance saying he’s available to play for us in my hand.
“If the clearance comes through, we will put him in the squad. He was with us for training just before we left for Poland and I made it clear to him then that if he did want to play for England, I would include him in this squad and I intend to keep that promise.”
When Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both return to fitness Arsenal could have five representatives, Theo Walcott (assuming he’s not sold) and Jack Wilshere being the others, in and around the England set-up come the next round of qualification matches.
Granted only two, Jack and Kieran, have progressed through the ranks of the Arsenal Academy, but it looks as though the press may have one less stick with which to beat Wenger now he’s helping to forge the next generation of national team talents.
Fingers crossed Jenkinson gets the clearance needed before the weekend, although judging by the travails of Emmanuel Frimpong, who after a year is still waiting for FIFA clearance to play Ghana, it’s far from cut and dry.
Commiserations Congratulations to Benik Afobe on his first call-up to the England under-21s. Give Stuart Pearce a kick in the balls from us.