Arsene Wenger was asked about Carl Jenkinson’s recent return to first-team duty ahead of Saturday’s match against West Ham United.
The Arsenal manager backed the England international to soon return t his very best form, and this is what he had to say:
on Carl’s confidence levels…Jenkinson has not played for a long long period. He had knee surgery after he had two shoulder surgeries and what he is going through at the moment is, for me, a bit normal but very difficult to live with for a player. Why? Because you think you are there and you will only realise in six months that he is not completely there. And then you will play and realise you are not as good as you think you should be and you lose confidence. He is going through that period at the moment.
He has lost confidence because the Jenkinson you see at the moment is the Jenkinson who can play but not completely himself because he has no confidence. That will come back. He will be in and out and suddenly after one or two months, he will make the step and play. It is natural and very difficult.
Today it is even more difficult because, as you say, he gets quickly hammered by everybody on social media. I hope he doesn’t read all that and focuses on his game.
on comparisons with Hectir Bellerin…Bellerin is one of the best in his position certainly in Europe, but Carl can compete with him. At the moment, no, because mentally he has not found back his total level nor his confidence.
on options at right back…The best way to help them is to respect the fact to play them when they are competitive, because if you don’t play them, they are not completely ready mentally it’s even worse and I think Ainsley has a chance there. I still have not decided for West Ham completely, although Gabriel is a bit in front because of the experience, what we might face in the air as well. Gabriel is good in the air so I go a bit more at the start for him.
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