Carl Jenkinson says that having the faith of Arsène Wenger is "the biggest compliment in football".
The 21-year-old defender has established himself in the first-team squad since signing from Charlton Athletic in the summer of 2011 and has already made six appearances this season.
Speculation was rife throughout the summer that Arsenal would recruit a new defensive player. It didn't happen, and that has given Jenkinson's self-esteem a major fillip.
It's an honour to wear an Arsenal shirt anyway. You're more than worthy of being a good player if you're playing for this Club so it's just important that you believe that all the timeCarl Jenkinson
“I think it's massive for me,” he told Arsenal Player.
“Sometimes as a player you can doubt yourself and you can think 'I'm not doing so well. Do people still have belief in me?' I think the biggest compliment in football, and I often remind myself of that, [that] someone like Arsène Wenger has faith in me.
“That gives me an awful lot of confidence, to know that a man of his stature and his experience believes in me and believes that I can have a great career in the game. For me there's no bigger compliment in football than that.
“He gives me a lot of confidence, as do the other coaches. It's an honour to wear an Arsenal shirt anyway. You're more than worthy of being a good player if you're playing for this Club so it's just important that you believe that all the time and you have that confidence in yourself.”
Jenkinson set up Aaron Ramsey’s first goal in a 3-1 win at Sunderland earlier this month. The defender says he is relaxing more during games and believes his distribution has improved as a result.
“I was happy with that,” he said.” When I look back on it, it was great that he shouted because I probably wouldn't have seen him otherwise.
“As I've become more established at this level, I think you naturally relax more. The more games you have, the more confidence you have in your ability.
“Someone told me that my passing accuracy has been really good lately, which is good to know because that's something that as an Arsenal player, you have to do. We have to keep the ball. It's a big part of the way we play. I think my distribution has got better and it's good that it has.”