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'It was bizarre playing in goal!'

Loan spells provide players with experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise encounter - but donning the goalkeeping gloves was something Carl Jenkinson could never have imagined.

The 24-year-old had to go in goal during his loan spell with West Ham United, after Spanish stopper Adrian was sent off in a 2-1 loss to Leicester City in August 2015.

“It was bizarre, really. Obviously no one else fancied it too much and the boss pulled me over and asked if I fancied going in goal,” Jenkinson told Arsenal.com.

“What can you say? I took the gloves and fortunately I didn’t have too much to do.

“What have you got to lose as an outfield player going in goal? You’re either a hero or if you let a goal in, you’re an outfield player who’s let a goal in. No one is going to judge you.

“I took some goal-kicks and got some cheers so all-round it was a good laugh and I didn’t concede, so a 100 per cent clean sheet record for me!

Carl in goal for West Ham United against Leicester City

Carl in goal for West Ham United against Leicester City

 

Putting his goalkeeping exploits aside, Jenkinson feels that the time spent with the Hammers was beneficial not only for his career but in his personal development.

“I’ve definitely grown up a lot in the last couple of years,” he said. “I like to think I’ve always been quite a mature lad but just learning how to deal in everyday life with certain situations, I think I’ve matured a lot. I think on the pitch I’m better at making decisions and it comes with experience.

“I’ve played a lot of football over the last couple of years for someone my age. I’ve played 50 odd games in the Premier League, which was fantastic for me. That experience is invaluable.”

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