Arsenal defender returns from lengthy lay-off, plays 60 minutes

The full-back underwent surgery on his cruciate ligament in February and has been building up to a return to action in recent weeks


Carl Jenkinson suffered a serious knee injury while on loan at West Ham last season but played over an hour against Southampton Under-23.

Arsene Wenger indicated earlier this week he believes the boyhood Arsenal fan could still have a future at the Emirates. The England international had been out since January with a knee injury, but stepped up his rehabilitation at Meadow Park.

As expected, Jenkinson made his return by starting at right-back for Gatting’s side. The Premier League 2 clash ended goalless with Ismael Bennacer going closest as his shot hit the post. It was a good night for Jenko as he played more than an hour for the U23 side and looked strong in the position.

Earlier this week, Arsene Wenger hailed the defender’s mentality during his lay-off.

He has been out for a very long time but he’s available again to compete now,

It has been very tough for him because he had the knee and after, the shoulders. You think it’s endless at that age, you need to be patient.

He has been patient, resilient and he has a fantastic mentality – he has worked very hard to come back. He had the support of everybody here at the club and I think he has done extremely well.

It would be difficult for him to start for the first team as Bellerin has been impeccable these last two seasons. Although we could see Jenkinson replace Debuchy as a cover for Bellerin and could see him play when needed.

While Jenkinson continues his journey back to the senior team, Arsenal welcome Swansea to the Emirates on Saturday in the Premier League.

The Gunners are third in the table and just two points off the leaders Manchester City.


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