By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes| Premier League expert with experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
Arsenal are “disappointed” that Carl Jenkinson has lost his regular place in the West Ham team, Football Insider sources understand.
Jenkinson is midway through his second consecutive season-long loan at Upton Park and has spoken of his frustration at slipping down the pecking order under Slaven Bilic.
This viewpoint is echoed at Arsenal, where staff are concerned that Bilic has preferred centre-back James Tomkins at right-back to Jenkinson.
“The Arsenal staff are disappointed that Jenko has not been a regular starter over the last month or so,” a Gunners source told Football Insider. “Obviously, we want him to develop and the best way for that is for him to be getting as much game time as possible.”
Jenkinson, 23, has started 12 of West Ham’s 19 Premier League matches this season but only one since 29 November, and that was at left-back as cover for the injured Aaron Cresswell in Monday’s 2-1 win over Southampton.
The Englishman’s drop in status comes as Arsenal prepare to loan out second-choice right-back Mathieu Debuchy in the January window. As revealed by Football Insider, Aston Villa have opened preliminary talks about taking the France international on loan for the rest of the season.
This could prompt speculation that Arsenal might want to recall Jenkinson this month but there ere was no January recall clause in Jenkinson’s West Ham loan deal last season, and it is likely to be the same situation in this campaign.
Jenkinson is hoping to cement his place in the West Ham team after what he admits has been a difficult month.
“Like everyone else I want to be playing,” he told the West Ham website. “I have had a few games coming off the bench which has been frustrating but I want to take my chances when I get them and cement my place in the team.
“Every player will tell you they want to be playing and I am the same.”