By Chris Harris
Carl Jenkinson is "flattered" that Arsène Wenger has put his faith in him but he knows he has plenty of work to do to become a regular in the Arsenal first team.
The summer signing from Charlton had yet to play League One football this time last year but he is now holding down a spot at Emirates Stadium following an injury to Bacary Sagna.
Wenger has praised the rate of Jenkinson's improvement in recent months and he demonstrated his trust in the 19-year-old by fielding him against West Bromwich Albion instead of playing a centre back out of position. It didn't go unnoticed.
"It's a very flattering thing for him to do that and believe in me," Jenkinson told Arsenal Player.
"Obviously I'm still young but I do think I am capable of playing. I've got the ability and I have it in me to be playing now - it's just up to me to play well, take my chances and make sure I keep that place.
"It's very nice for him to believe in me and put me in the team in the first place. Obviously over the years he's put faith in youngsters but when it's you, you're that bit more grateful."
Jenkinson has been on a steep learning curve since he crossed the capital in the summer and he is determined to prove that Wenger was right to bring him to the Club.
"There's a lot more improvement for me to do and I know I have a lot more in me to show it," said Jenkinson. "But I know I have to improve if I want to be a regular at this football club. It's nice that he thinks that [I am improving] but I know I have a lot more to do to get where I want to be.
"I think the main thing was that he saw some potential in me at Charlton. I was playing League One football and was only 18 but I was doing quite well. From what they told me I think Arsenal were quite impressed with my athleticism - the fact that I can get up and down the pitch.
"I think they saw that there were many things that I can improve technically but that they could improve when I came here. I think physically they were quite impressed with me but now I'm here I can improve other aspects of my game."
Part two of our interview with Carl is now available on Arsenal Player.Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source