Arsene Wenger admits that Carl Jenkinson’s confidence is low at the moment, and that the 24 year old needs to be taken out of the spotlight.
However, he hasn’t written him off and has backed the full-back to find his way again after a couple of difficult weeks.
Jenkinson was replaced on Wednesday night in the EFL Cup by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, compounding a tough night for him, and the Arsenal manager says he hopes he doesn’t read Twitter as he tries to rediscover his form.
“He has lost confidence,” he said. “The Jenkinson you see at the moment is the Jenkinson who can play but is not completely Jenkinson because he has no confidence.
“That will come back. He will be in and out and, suddenly, after one or two months, he will make the step and play. It is natural and very difficult.
“Today it is even more difficult because he gets quickly hammered by everybody on social media. I hope he doesn’t read all that and focuses on his game.”
Wenger also pointed to the fact Jenkinson has had a serious knee injury and has only recently come back from that as a mitigating factor in his recent struggles.
And he believes he can still play a part when Hector Bellerin returns from injury.
“Bellerin is one of the best in his position certainly in Europe but Carl can compete with him,” he continued.
“At the moment, no, because mentally he has not found his total level of his confidence.”