COMMENT by Amir Mir
Carl Jenkinson made his first appearance for Arsenal in 898 days when he played the full match in the 2-0 win over Reading in the EFL Cup last month.
The 24-year-old right-back previously last featured for Arsene Wenger’s side on the final day of the 2013-14 season, before he had two season-long loan spells at West Ham.
During his absence, Spaniard Hector Bellerin has cemented himself as a key first-team figure Arsenal on the right flank with his raw pace and directness.
However, Bellerin will now miss a possible eight matches for Wenger’s side due to a ligament injury, which gives Jenkinson the chance to revive his career in north London.
Despite making his competitive debut for Arsenal in 2011, he has not yet solidified his place in the starting XI, but can do so with a number of crucial fixtures coming up.
During his 59 appearances for the Gunners, the same number of games he played for the Hammers, Jenkinson has shown workmanlike qualities and his ability to read the game has improved.
This will come to the test if Jenkinson starts against Manchester United on Saturday, followed by a Champions League fixture against Paris Saint-Germain and possibly a trip to Manchester City in mid-December.
In the short-term, Jenkinson may not be able to knock Bellerin down the pecking order, but he can strengthen his cause for a first-term spot and give Wenger reminders about the quality he has within his squad.
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