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Wenger: Jenkinson will "compete" with Debuchy

Despite rumors he would go out on loan, Arsene Wenger says Carl Jenkinson will fight for a first team place.

Jamie McDonald

With Bacary Sagna's departure from Arsenal, it seemed to some like a gilded chance for a first team place was sitting in front of Carl Jenkinson. Already in the club for several years, and with experience deputizing for Sagna in the past (including a few impressive performances, like his 90 minutes in a 2-0 win at Bayern Munich in 2013), it wasn't crazy to think he might take that starting spot. But as rumors of Serge Aurier sprouted, everyone remembered his relative inconsistency, and finally Mathieu Debuchy signed, that chance evaporated. The prevailing wisdom was that a loan could be in his future.

But based on Arsene Wenger's comments just after Debuchy's arrival, that may not be the case. He spoke ofconfidence that Jenkinson would "move forward," of his "big passion," and said he'd compete with Debuchy for playing time.

[Jenkinson] is going to compete, of course. There is nobody today who can play 60 games at the top level - that's why you always need two players. People always want for you to have two players in every position or sometimes three, and then they will ask you 'who will play?' You don't know before the season starts but what is important is that you have good players to have a chance to compete at the top level.

While I agree that you need two players at each position to really have a serious chance at performing in multiple competitions, I do have concerns that Jenkinson won't develop as well or as quickly without regular playing time. A loan might have done him real good. On the other hand, he's the second-most experienced right-back at Arsenal right now, and sending him on loan while expecting a player like Hector Bellerin to back up Debuchy would be a dangerous game to play. This is probably the right move in the short term; hopefully it won't stunt Jenkinson's development in the long term too much.

Or he might just be saying that, and Jenkinson could be at Leicester City in two weeks. You never know.