Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson wants to oust Bacary Sagna on permanent basis
The defender is targeting a breakthrough season with the Gunners
Friday 19 July 2013
Carl Jenkinson wants to establish himself as Arsenal's first-choice right-back in what he predicts will be a “massive season” in his career.
Many eyebrows were raised when Arsene Wenger swooped for the unheralded Charlton teenager two years ago.
Jenkinson has proved his worth, though, and was rewarded with an improved, long-term contract with the north Londoners last November.
That month the 21-year-old also made his senior England debut against Sweden, having been clearance to play for the Three Lions despite representing Finland at youth levels.
Jenkinson is hoping to add to that solitary cap soon and wants to usurp Bacary Sagna as Arsenal's regular right-back.
"It would be a dream for me to go to a World Cup and if I can play for Arsenal every week then I would give myself a chance," he told reporters. "But that's a big target for me.
"It's a big season for me. I look at it as a massive season. I've had a couple of years now where I've played, settled in and personally I've raised my level and get more chances.
"Hopefully I'll get more playing time than I did last year because that was a bit frustrating at times but I think this is an opportunity to show I'm ready.
"If I can play in some of these games then I think I can show that I can play week-in and week-out.
"Bacary finished up playing every week last season. Most people would say he's first choice. He's a fantastic player and has been for many years. I've got the utmost respect for him.
"But he knows I want to push him for his place. I hope I can push on to the next level and ultimately take his place and play every week.
"The England call-up gave me a lot of confidence. Having the faith of Arsene Wenger is one of the biggest things in football and then getting a call-up from Roy Hodgson for England was massive for me.
"I like to think that I'm still in his plans. But he doesn't pick many players who aren't playing regularly so that's got to be the challenge to me.
"Everyone wants to play in the World Cup. That's the pinnacle. As a player you feel a bit more pressure, because it's so important for any player. It's a huge year for me."
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