By Amir Mir
Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson has heaped praise on West Ham for helping him develop as a footballer and a person, following his two-season loan spell at the club.
Right-back Jenkinson spent two seasons with the Hammers, after his parent club Arsenal allowed him to move to gain valuable Premier League experience.
The 24-year-old was first loaned by then-West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, before current Hammers boss Slaven Bilic extended his stay at the then-Boleyn Ground.
Jenkinson who suffered a season-ending knee injury during his time with the east London club, has given an insight into how much he has learnt over the past two campaigns.
“I’ve definitely grown up a lot in the last couple of years,” Jenkinson told the official Arsenal website.
“I like to think I’ve always been quite a mature lad but just learning how to deal in everyday life with certain situations, I think I’ve matured a lot. I think on the pitch I’m better at making decisions and it comes with experience.
“I’ve played a lot of football over the last couple of years for someone my age. I’ve played 50 odd games in the Premier League, which was fantastic for me. That experience is invaluable.”
Jenkinson made 59 appearances in all competitions during his two seasons with the Irons, scoring two goals and supplying two assists.
He is currently on the road to recovery, following his knee ligament injury in January, as he now has to compete for a first-team spot with the fast-improving Hector Bellerin.
The one-cap England international has made 57 appearances for the Gunners since his debut in 2011, scoring the one goal and being the provider on five occasions.