I'm English, honest! England in race to secure clearance for Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson


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The Independent Football

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson will be drafted into the England squad for next week's friendly with Sweden, if they can get clearance from Fifa.

Roy Hodgson was expected to name the 20-year-old in today's squad having previously made clear his admiration for the youngester. However, for the time being he has been left out due to wrangling over his eligibility.

Jenkinson, whose mother is Finnish and father English, has played for Finland at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level. While it is expected that he will be allowed to switch allegiances, there has been more red-tape clearing it with Fifa than was expected.

Hodgson, who has included alternative full-backs Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker, Leighton Baines and Ryan Bertrand in the squad announced today, remains confident that he will be able to include Jenkinson for the friendly which will be played in Stockholm on Wednesday.

"The reason I didn't include Carl from the start is because we haven't, at this moment in time, got clearance from FIFA but we do believe that they are going to grant that clearance within a day or two," Hodgson told FA TV.

"So by next Wednesday, he will be clear to play. He wants to play for England and has made that clear so we applied for permission to Fifa, as one is allowed to do, immediately after he left us and before we set off for Poland.

"That was a month ago, but I didn't want to put his name down in a squad until such time as I've got Fifa clearance saying he's available to play for us in my hand.

"If the clearance comes through, we will put him in the squad. He was with us for training just before we left for Poland and I made it clear to him then that if he did want to play for England, I would include him in this squad and I intend to keep that promise."

Since joining Arsenal from Charlton in 2011, Jenkinson has impressed with his displays at the back, particularly this season.