Carl Jenkinson was deemed surplus to requirements at Arsenal for the 2014-15 season by manager Arsene Wenger and was farmed out on loan to West Ham United in the summer transfer window.
Although Wenger rates the 22-year-old defender highly, given the options he had at the start of the season at right-back, the England international would have struggled for playing time.
Mathieu Debuchy was signed from Newcastle United as a direct replacement for the departed Bacary Sagna, while Calum Chambers was going to be his back-up as well as cover in central defence.
However, the injury to the France international means that Wenger had to promote Hector Bellerin from the youth team. Although talented and bright, the Spanish right-back is only 19 years of age and lacks experience.
Jenkinson has that experience (at least more than Bellerin), but Wenger’s decision to let him join West Ham on a season-long loan deal in July meant that the 22-year-old is not available for selection.
Does that bother the youngster? Could he have stepped up at Arsenal had he been part of the Gunners squad for this season?
‘At the end of the day I can't think too much about Arsenal, I have a job to do here’, talkSPORT quotes Jenkinson as saying. ‘It has been a frustrating start, but I am feeling fit and strong.
‘I know Arsenal have a bit of an injury crisis over there at the moment, but it was the boss's decision to allow me to go on loan. I think in the long term it will be the best thing for me and the club for sure’.
Jenkinson, who joined Arsenal from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2011, seems quite mature and understands Wenger’s decision to send him out on loan.
The 22-year-old speaks of a long-term future at Arsenal, and that is certainly something that should excite the North London club’s fans. The youngster himself has been struggling with a hamstring injury of late, but he has now recovered and is ready for action.