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BEAR GRYLLS 2.0

Carl Jenkinson is the Premier League survival expert who we can’t help but respect

The 'right-back' will make his first Arsenal appearance in over 700 days against Blackpool

He’s living the dream.

The Allianz Arena, Old Trafford, Anfield, the list of stadiums that Carl Jenkinson has graced would be the envy of any top player.

Once describing his link-up with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain against Bayern Munich as “one touch, two touch, what’d you want”, the German champions didn’t know what hit them.


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You better believe it

Getty - Contributor
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You better believe it

Oh Jenko, it wasn’t meant to be this way.

It’s well-documented that the 26-year-old is a boyhood Arsenal supporter, something which earned him instant cult-hero status with the Emirates faithful.

However the fact you are a die-hard fan can only get you so far.

Chipsticks or Frazzles? Both, says Jenkinson.

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Chipsticks or Frazzles? Both, says Jenkinson.

With survival instincts that would make even Bear Grylls’ p*ss drinking look tame, Jenkinson’s ability to stay on the books at Arsenal should really be admired.

Rumoured to be earning around £45,000 a week with the Gunners, it’s little surprise that he’s been in no rush to move on from the north London club.

He’s gone through numerous transfer windows and lived to tell the tale.

He’s clearly failed to impress Unai Emery in training

Getty - Contributor
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He’s clearly failed to impress Unai Emery in training

Last summer was set to finally spell the end of Jenkinson’s time in north London.

A change of management saw a mass overhaul of the squad as Unai Emery hoped to burn the deadwood.

However quite curiously, the defender picked up an injury just days before the transfer window slammed shut meaning he would remain with the Gunners until January, at least.

Arsene Wenger’s legacy will be giving Jenkinson a five-year extension in 2015

Getty - Contributor
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Arsene Wenger’s legacy will be giving Jenkinson a five-year extension in 2015

Once tipped for big things with Arsenal, it’s turned out to be quite the interesting career for Jenkinson.

He’s dabbled in other positions…

“Ave some of that, Kepa!”

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“Ave some of that, Kepa!”

He’s even tried other sports…

FORE… years too many at Arsenal

Paul Edwards - The Sun
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FORE… years too many at Arsenal

Catch of the day: 45k

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Catch of the day: 45k

And other careers…

Probably a better pilot than footballer

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Probably a better pilot than footballer

Astronomer

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Astronomer

Jenkinson showed promising signs when he first arrived from Charlton in 2011.

Minus a hilarious own goal in his very first game, of course.

Wenger often turned to the leggy right-back when first-choice Bacary Sagna was injured, meaning that Jenkinson did get his fair share of opportunities at the top level.

The boyhood Gooner was rewarded with a call-up to the England squad in 2012, Roy Hodgson handing him his one and only cap to date, in a 4-2 friendly defeat to Sweden.

He came on for last 16 minutes. Probably 16 minutes too long in all fairness.

Thankfully Gareth Southgate blocked his number this summer

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Thankfully Gareth Southgate blocked his number this summer

A successful loan stint with West Ham in 2014/15 convinced Arsenal to hand him a new five-year contract, before he rejoined the East London club on loan the following season.

His second loan was cut short however after he sustained a serious knee injury in January 2016. It’s this moment more than anything that signalled the start of his demise.

A lengthy rehabilitation process meant he didn’t feature again until the following campaign, where he made just five appearances for Arsenal in all competitions.

A shocking performance in an EFL Cup quarter final defeat to Southampton made up fans’ minds

Getty Images - Getty
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A shocking performance in an EFL Cup quarter final defeat to Southampton made up fans’ minds

Lady Luck again failed to shine on poor old Jenkinson during his loan spell with Championship club Birmingham last season.

He dislocated his shoulder just 32 minutes into his debut for the club, meaning he went onto play just 9 games in all competitions.

You do feel a little bit sorry for him.

We were treated to Jenkinson v Stewart Downing

Reuters
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We were treated to Jenkinson v Stewart Downing

It remains to be seen (definitely won’t happen) whether or not Jenkinson’s career will have a dramatic turnaround this season.

Jenkinson made the bench for Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon, which led us all to believe a comeback was on the cards.

Emery has now handed him his first Gunners start in over 700 days against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup. The banter era is alive and kicking.

Seven years, 62 appearances, one goal and a hell of a lot of banter. Long may it continue

Just look at his face #passion

Phil Shephard-Lewis - The Sun
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Just look at his face #passion

Remember when he had to deny rumours that his Dad was a famous singer…


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