Welcome Carl Jenkinson. Mixed Feelings About The Jones Transfer

June 9, 2011

The official website announced the arrival of young defender Carl Jenkinson. I would like to join other Gooners who have already expressed a warm welcome to the youngster. Wish you a great career in Red and White Carl.

According to the Charlton Chief Executive, the lad comes from an Arsenal supporting family. That ensures excellent DNA I suppose.

I haven’t seen much of the kid, in fact I’ve just seen one youtube video where he played at left-back, so don’t really know how advanced his development is. To be fair to him the jump from League One to the Premiership will not be easy so we should not start out with high expectations at the outset. It is interesting to note that even the official website has filed this under the ‘Reserves News’ category.

Pre-season should give us a good idea and I’d like to reserve judgment till then. After that we will know whether he can be relied on to be a valuable squad player next season or he will need some nurturing before any real responsibility is thrust upon his young shoulders.

Wouldn’t it be a delight if he turns out to be the ‘Finnished’ product with English grit, determination, the works! On a more realistic note I will be happy if he has the technique of a continental player and the physicality of an English brute.

In a separate story, you must have read by now that Arsenal made a substantial bid for Phil Jones but the Blackburn defender chose United. I had mixed feelings about that attempted transfer.

Firstly and most importantly, it shows that Wenger is ready to spend and is willing to pay over the odds for an English player. If this particular transfer didn’t work out we can realistically hope there will be other targets. I believe any Gooner, irrespective of their current attitude towards the club and the manager, will look at this as a highly positive development.

Secondly, he fit the bill of what is required, well almost. My guess is that Wenger was impressed by his versatility and that would have made him a very useful squad player who could have developed into a first team regular over the next couple of years. He would have been the kind of player that can be brought on, in defence or midfield, when a lead has to be defended. From the functionality point of view and considering the needs of the team, it would have been a very useful acquisition. Indeed, he was just the kind of signing I had been hoping for all of last season.

Having said that, I must also say that I did have some reservations about signing Jones. Those were not related to his talents. If Ferguson and Wenger want a player then he has to be top notch. I am just not sure he is ready to take a first team spot right now and I’m not convinced big money should be spent on anyone who isn’t going to nail down a starting birth. While I find it hard to accept the cost for a squad player, that thought makes Wenger’s willingness to invest that much more encouraging.

Liam Brady told talkSPORT Arsenal will be spending some money this summer,

There will be a lot of business done this year and I think we will be spending a bit more money than we have done in past seasons. I think Arsenal will spend this year.

But he also warned about the lack of quality players in the market,

Where are the players to go around everybody? It is not only the clubs in England, but also all the big European clubs are in the transfer market.

I believe if Arsene sustains his willingness to spend big on one or two players he will find the right quality. Le Boss likes the word ‘decisive’ a lot and it’s time for him to show he can be decisive as well. Whether that will be sufficient or not is a matter for another day.