By Amir Mir
Martin Keown believes Carl Jenkinson needs to be “more confident” as he urged the Arsenal defender to step into Hector Bellerin’s shoes.
As reported by the Evening Standard right-back Bellerin is a doubt for the Gunners clash against Manchester United after the international break due to an ankle problem.
His teammate Jenkinson is next in line, ahead of Frenchman Mathieu Debuchy, to replace the Spaniard in defence if he is unable to be fit for the Old Trafford trip.
Former Premier League winner Keown has explained what Jenkinson needs to do in order to emulate his younger teammate.
“Over the next few weeks we will see how well equipped their squad is to cope [in regards to injuries],” Keown wrote on his Daily Mail column. “Carl Jenkinson is someone who has come in already and I think he needs to be more confident.
“He’s been away on loan, he’s maturing and I’d like to see him play with more belief. He’s a tremendous athlete. Hector Bellerin has gone in, embraced it and believes he belongs at that level. Jenkinson needs to find that belief.”
Jenkinson served a two-year loan spell at Premier League rivals West Ham, where he made 59 appearances for the east London club, before suffering a season-ending knee injury in January.
He has since returned from a nine month spell on the sidelines, appearing in the 2-0 win over Championship outfit Reading in the EFL Cup in October.
By contrast rising star Bellerin has played 87 first-team games for Arsenal, where he has provided ten assists, including one this season in 14 league and Champions League fixtures.
In other Arsenal team news, supporters have issued a hands off warning on Twitter as Jose Mourinho wants this first-team player.