By Russell Edge
Newcastle United are targeting Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson as the club look to build a Premier League squad for next season, according to a report.
The print edition of the Mirror (20 April, page 57), claim the Magpies believe the 25-year-old is ready to depart the Emirates Stadium to find first team football, and will look to offer him a chance to remain in the Premier League.
The versatile right back, who can play anywhere along the back four, has only appeared five times for Arsene Wenger’s side this season, despite remaining fit throughout the campaign.
A proposed move to Crystal Palace collapsed in January, and while the 25-year-old was happy to fight for his place then, it seems he is ready to move away from the club he has supported since he was a boy in order to play more regularly.
Were Jenkinson to arrive at St James’ Park, it would represent a landmark swoop given that he is at a Premier League giant and Newcastle are still in the Championship.
He would offer competition to American international DeAndre Yedlin and Spaniard Jesus Gamez, both of whom joined during the summer of 2016.
However, Gamez and Moroccan left back Achraf Lazaar have failed to impress boss Rafa Benitez this season and it seems he is looking for a full back who can operate on either flank.
Newcastle may face competition for his signing from West Ham, where Jenkinson made 59 appearances over two loan spells in 2014 and 2015.
Football Insider verdict:
It is difficult to judge a player when he has made so few appearances for his club this season. Whether it is simply Arsene Wenger deciding he is not good enough for Arsenal or something more, we are not to know. What is known is that Newcastle will need to improve their squad depth for their proposed Premier League campaign next season. Paul Dummett, Jamaal Lascelles, Chancel Mbemba and Vurnon Anita all remain from their relegation campaign, so it is imperative they invest to ensure they stand firm at the back. At 25-years-old, Jenkinson must be playing first team football, and having proven himself at West Ham on loan, plus likely being available for a cut-price deal, the move is a very sensible one for Newcastle.
In other Newcastle United news, a former Premier League manager predicts a promotion party for the Magpies this season.