By Giuseppe Muro

Carl Jenkinson has had a whirlwind 12 months.

The teenage defender was playing in the Conference National at Christmas but, this week, he could line up for Arsenal in the Champions League.

In November, Jenkinson moved to Eastbourne Borough where he spent a month and played four times before being recalled by Charlton Athletic. He never looked back.

Ahead of Tuesday’s game against Udinese, the summer signing admits he has come a very long way in a short space of time.

“It was only at Christmas that I was playing in the Conference so now to be here and potentially involved in a Champions League game is massive for me,” he said.

“It is something I am very excited about. Just to be playing for Arsenal is an honour in itself. Every player aspires to play in the Champions League so it is an exciting time.

“I have really enjoyed it [at Arsenal since joining]. The squad and everyone at Arsenal has been very welcoming so it’s a very nice environment to come into. I have thoroughly enjoyed pre-season and the games I have played.

“The lads have welcomed me with open arms and it’s been a nice place to come in to. That’s helped me with my football and helped me to relax and settle in.”

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15 Aug 2011