Carl Jenkinson has been included in Arsenal’s squad for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.
It looked almost certain that the right-back would leave the Emirates this summer before a bad ankle sprain put off potential suitors and ruled him out of the first two months of the season.
Now that he’s fit again, he has an outside chance of seeing some first team action.
Following injuries to left-backs Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac, Dinos Mavropanos sidelined and Laurent Koscielny still feeling his way back to full fitness, we have something of an injury crisis at the back.
On Thursday, youngster Zech Medley was a late call-up to the bench, this time it appears that Jenks, has been given the nod.
Let’s go to Lisbon ✈️🇵🇹 pic.twitter.com/wZda88cus8
— Aubameyang P-E (@Aubameyang7) October 24, 2018
It’s coming up to two years since Jenkinson – pictured on the right of Aubameyang’s tweeted image – played for the Gunners first team; a rare appearance made against Paris Saint Germain at a time when the squad was again depleted at the back.
Last season, the 26-year-old recruited on loan by Birmingham City but suffered a shoulder dislocation on his first appearance. He got back into the team after Christmas but eventually lost his place again to youngster Wes Harding.
Unai Emery utilised Stephan Lichtsteiner at
right left-back in Monday’s win over Leicester and it seems most likely he’ll stick with that option. It’ll no doubt be a boost for Jenkinson to make the bench – his dad might say it’s something of a ‘turn around’ – and should play into his hands when he looks for a club in January.
All in all, it’s a strong squad travelling to Portugal with Monday’s matchwinners Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the plane, along with Lucas Torreira, Sokratis – back from injury – and Alex Lacazette. Emile Smith Rowe, who scored in against Qarabag, also travels.