Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson refuses to be drawn on international plans

 

Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson insists club football remains his main focus as questions over his international future begin to mount.

The 20-year-old right-back has impressed for the Gunners this season, leading to reports Roy Hodgson was planning to call him up for England's World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Poland next week.

Jenkinson represented England Under-17s, but a call-up to the senior team is made all the more complicated by the fact he has represented Finland's youth teams up to Under-21 level.

The defender, whose mother is Finnish, has yet to commit to Finland and was keen to focus on life with Arsenal when questioned about his international future ahead of tomorrow's Champions League tie against Olympiakos.

"To be honest I'm just concentrating on my club football, that's my bread and butter," he said. "I think I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

"I'm just focused on the here and now and the next game and that's tomorrow with Olympiakos.

"Finland have contacted me. I've told them my exact words when I spoke to them was 'I'm focusing on my club football' so that's all there is to it. You can read into that how you want.

"I'm going to have to make a decision at some point. As I've said many times, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Until then I'm just concentrating on each game as it comes."

 

 

The fact people are even talking about an England call-up shows how far Jenkinson has come since Arsenal surprisingly signed him from Charlton last summer.

After a shaky debut season in the Premier League, his performances have improved vastly with the right-back believing he is now suited to top-flight football.

"It has been a whirlwind year," Jenkinson said. "I've realised in football, there's always ups and downs and it's about trying to keep a level head.

"You're always going to have downs in football, but at the same time, you're always going to have ups as well and I've just tried to not take the downs too personally and just concentrate on my own game and respond.

"I feel comfortable at this level now. I think acclimatised you could say.

"I feel comfortable playing at this level now, and I just want to push on from now and hopefully keep going as I'm going."

PA

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