Living in Canada usually puts me a few hours behind most Arsenal fans, or puts me a few hours short of a full sleep because I got up so bloody early to check out the news. Reading rumours that Carl Jenkinson could be off on loan has me seriously gobsmacked.
Is there a statement behind the statement that Wenger wants him to go out on loan? Does that mean that Bacary Sagna’s contract is about to be extended and that someone else is coming in to the team should an injury happen? Is Wenger going to promote Martin Angha to the first team to deputize for Sagna while Jenkinson goes on loan?
Ok, that first scenario is unlikely on all accounts. Angha is a gifted fullback, I saw him play at Colney in November and can say with confidence that he has better use of both his feet than any other fullback in the first team. Sagna resigning his contract looks unlikely, as does a deal to send him away from the Emirates this window. However, we still have this rumour about Jenkinson being desired by Ian Holloway’s Crystal Palace.
What about the other angle, maybe Holloway is just trying to stir the pot because Arsenal have had an interest in Zaha? That’s a good possibility, but more probable is that Holloway is trying to see what extra he can get from the clubs interested in Zaha. Manchester United were rumoured to be putting in a formal offer for Zaha. Holloway is now trying to see if Arsenal will match it, but then beat it by loaning Palace our young right back.
Then there is the length of loan to discuss. Arsenal are approaching a congested period of the calendar and Sagna has missed a good chunk of time already this season. Can Arsenal, already short at left back, risk being undermanned at right back? Arsenal at right back, ready for the premier league, have Sagna and Jenkinson. Coquelin could fill in there, but that would be like Flamini back in defense again. At left back Arsenal have Kieran Gibbs, and sorry, but I will not count Santos as his understudy. If there was an injury to a full back then Vermaelen or Koscielny would have to fill in. Without Djourou on loan that means that the Squid or Miquel come back to the first team and I am not ready for that at all. So the length of loan is a HUGE issue. If Jenkinson goes for a month for some matches, with no penalty for a loan recall in the middle, then it makes sense, but that is unlikely as Palace would be counting on his participation for the length of a loan deal.
Arsenal fans are looking at Jenkinson, if he agrees a loan move, going away to Palace with no replacement coming in to the team. If there was a time I was thinking about hitting the panic button, now is the time. As Arsene waits on other signings until Theo puts pen to paper, I look bleakly into the future where the medical room is busy and Gary O’Driscoll and Colin Lewin are slagged because of the injuries. We are also watching as the available talents are snatched up, and Arsene may be the last manager to visit the proverbial watering hole.