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April 2021

Our first signing, more new contracts, the pre-season begins…

By Tony Attwood

Arsenal have signed 19-year-old Finland Under-21 defender Carl Jenkinson from Charlton.  He is 6ft 1in tall, which apparently now matters, is right-footed, and can play for England if he really wants to (he was born in England).  He played for Charlton for the first time last December, and played in eight games in all.   He can play centre back or right back.

He has played for both countries at youth level, and was captain of Finland’s Under-19 side, and it is said (at least by the Charlton chief exec, that his family supports Arsenal.

Chris Powell the manager of Charlton said, “I want to put on record how much I admire Carl as a player and, more importantly, as a young man,” said Powell.  If he grows into the right-back we all feel he could be, we could be talking about a player playing at the highest level for a long time.”

Benik Afobe and Chuks Aneke and Oguzhan Ozyakup and Zak Ansah have also signed long term contracts.  But Mark Randall, George Brislen-Hall and Roarie Deacon have all gone.  Plus Tom Cruise, who I got wrong in an earlier post.  (But my prediction of Randall was right).  But Henri Lansbury is in talks about extending his contract.

Elsewhere, we won’t be playing Barnet this season – a final change following the move to behind closed doors reserve games.

But the reserves and youth teams will play Dover Athletic, Hastings and Boreham Wood.

The club is still saying that Ryo Miyaichi is after a work permit, but he is not getting any help from his country as he is not in the current Under 22 squad.

In internationals Henri Lansbury, Kieran Gibbs and Ignasi Miquel have all played for their countries, although Gibbs has now withdrawn from the squad.   Martínez was on the bench for Argentina against Wojciech Szczęsny’s Poland.

Francis Coquelin and Gilles Sunu have been named in the French Under 20 squad for their involvement in the Under 20 World Cup in Colombia.  Ignasi Miquel is in the Spain squad.

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36 comments to Our first signing, more new contracts, the pre-season begins…

  • John

    I think the fact Arsenal finally announced today the Jenikson signing and the fact Utd have got Phil Jones says it all really.

    I cant stand Fergie but he doesnt let the grass grow under his feet. They have the best centre half partnership in Vidic and Ferdinand (I know ferdinand was injury alot but the covering players done the job when asked)and thats the main reason why they won the league.

    But not content with having these two he robbed Smalling under Wenger nose last season cos he dithered on paying an extra £2-3 million having seen Smalling standin for Ferdinand we missed out big time and has now splash out on Jones (not sure of the transfer fee).

    So now Manure have the england u21 centre half pairing to bed in over the next few years the centre half positions are sorted for many years to come….. thats good management and really shows the difference between the two clubs.

  • Dark Prince

    Have to agree with John. United are not buying youngsters who are too young to play for the 1st team. Players like Smalling and Jones are good enough to start games. Dont think we can say the same about Jenkinson. Common sense management is missing in our system.

  • Arsene Wonka

    Kyle Bartley 19, a centre back every bit as good as Phil Jones! and will hopefully get his chance at Arsenal this season.

    George Brislen-Hall has signed a 1 year contract after Tom Cruise was released.

  • bob

    @Arsene Wonka: I would LOVE to believe you. A thousand amens from the congregation… But What do you base your assertion on? Can we have facts and analysis instead of rah-rah, we’ll show you, and tribal loyalty? Really, mate: why do you say that our Bartley is at least the equivalent of Phil Jones?

  • Jerry

    I personally like the signing. Both him and Phil Jones are good players, both 19, Jenkinson is also about 2 inches taller. Just because players like Smalling and Jones signed for Man U or for a higher transfer fee doesn’t make them better players than ours. Both are signings for the future and shouldn’t be judged until after a couple years. Management has had their misses, but this is the same management that found most of Arsenal’s young talented team – Wilshere, Ramsey, Walcott, Cesc, Nasri, Van Persie, and Szczesny. and slightly older – TV (23) and Sagna (24). Arsenal hasn’t really gave us any reason to not trust their young signings. It’s the older experienced signings that have been lacking, but I feel there will be changes in that regard also this summer, and hopefully my gut feeling is right!

  • RedGooner

    Tony, Brisden hall was due to leave Arsenal in May but has signed a one year extention when Cruise left. Brisden is still with Arsenal according to arsenal young guns a few days ago.

  • Shard


    Your gut seems to have backing from Liam Brady. SEEMS I said 🙂

  • Shard

    About the Jenkinson signing. Firstly, I think it’s good business, as long as he has potential and for which we have no reason to doubt the club’s assessment. We do not have a young RB coming through the system, and Sagna cannot be expected to play every game, and if he gets injured Eboue will be the only remaining option. 1 million isn’t bad to get in some cover at right back. 16 million for Phil Jones? Really? He may well be good, but he’s not that good. And he most definitely is not the experienced CB we need. In fact I don’t think he’s capable of playing for us with our high line.

    Secondly, I couldn’t help but notice how the signing was announced along with the story of young lpayers extending contracts. It’s like the club is sending a message out to fans that this signing is one for the future, and NOT what will represent the rest of our transfer business. In any case, the transfer window for the rest of Europe doesn’t open till July. I’d rather the club use that time to sort out the futures of Cesc and Nasri. All our plans in the transfer market depend on that anyway.

  • walter

    Agree with Shard. Apart from Eboue we have no cover at right back. Last season Sagna was suspended in january and imagine if this happened this season we would have no right back at all as Eboue will be at the ANC this winter. So he will get half a season to get used to football at Arsenal and play in the CC. I do think he is one for the future and for cover and to replace Sagna immediatly. Well he could surprise us.

  • John L

    To those of you quoting manures’s great management. It was reported that Man U were also looking at Jenkinson (i dont put much stock in transfer rumours) but all the same….

    Fergie gets it wrong sometimes, as does Wenger and every other manager! However, I think Wenger has a very good record of helping players reach potential, so I have great expectations for Carl.

    Also there are many, many talented youngsters in the world, Man U might have gotten one in Jones but that’s not to say there’s not 50 other young center backs that could potentially be just as good.

    With some fans at the moment, I think Wenger is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If Man U had signed Jenkinson, I think its safe to say, that the same people would be saying how bad Wenger is for missing out on such a great prospect!!

  • AlexH

    @Bob – Arsene Wonka is right. Bartley was playing for a Rangers side that won the title up north, only injury stopping him being a regular at the end of the season. Compared with Jones who was playing in a blackburn side who were at the wrong end of the prem for most of the season. Bartley has the class to make it, just hope he isn’t another Djourou sicknote.

  • Shard

    Well apparently Arsenal offered as much money to blackburn, and more to Jones than ManU did. Shows what I know I guess, but in my mind I’m still glad we didn’t sign him (or that he didn’t sign for us). This, combined with the 20million that we had offered for Reina last year, should at least show some people that Wenger is willing to spend money, but that transfers are much more complicated than just that.

  • Jerry

    @Shard – I hope what Liam Brady says is true!

    Missing out on jones could be a blessing in disguise! Wenger is willing to spend when he considers it worth it and I like the players we’re linked with so far! For instance, I really hope we can get Gervinho (and yes I know he’ll be out during the Africans Cup)

  • Anne

    I’m glad that Arsenal isn’t letting all the media pressure affect their philosophy. Keep bringing in the youngsters, and eventually it will pay dividends.

  • Anne


    Any potential Cesc transfer deal is dead in the water, just as it always has been. Maybe when Cesc (yet again) doesn’t leave for Barcelona by the end of the summer, people will finally start to believe me on that.

    And I wouldn’t worry too much about the Nasri issue either. That one does have a little bit more urgency because he’s out of contract next summer, so the club needs to work on getting him signed to a new contract. But I don’t think the fact that he hasn’t extended a year in advance really justifies calling him a “contract rebel” just yet.

    We haven’t seen any indication that he really wants to leave, but if he does, I don’t know why another club (especially a club like ManU) would want to pay a huge fee this summer when they could have him for free next summer. I’d say Nasri is more of an issue for next summer, not this summer.

    Stop listening to all of these silly rumors 🙂

  • walter

    off topic but my god do I hate these “friendly” internationals. Just read in our media that RVP has escaped a possible leg breaking tackle after being assaulted with a two footed tackle.

    But he could play further so he should be okay … pfew…

  • Shard


    It’s not really about believing the rumours. Annoying as they are, and even if they are patently untrue, they have an effect in destabilising the atmosphere around the club. Especially with the way the season ended. Regarding Cesc I prefer to stay quiet on that. Something of a superstition, though probably more a case of letting sleeping dogs lie.

    Nasri has been disappointing in his attitude but largely I do feel he wants to stay. It’s just a game of brinkmanship being played for squeezing more money. If you read Brady’s quotes, he says he expects him to say and that negotiations often take a long time. That said, there is a risk that he doesn’t sign on the dotted line before the cut-off date put by the club. In that case he has to go. In a season of some amount of flux with transfers in and out, we need as much stability as possible, but we also need things sorted as quickly as possible. Nasri is one of our better players, but he isn’t irreplaceable. The team comes first.

    Also, I think while you are right that Arsenal’s philosophy is correct, this transfer window is highly significant for the club. The way things were last season with everything (fans actually wanting the team to fail-and it had an effect on our team)I think we need some sort of feel-good factor to return, and a big signing would represent that. A statement of intent if you will. In my view, that is actually not against Arsenal’s philosophy at all. It’s never been about not spending money. Only about spending what money we have, and spending it wisely. This summer, I believe it would be wise to invest in something of a big name. At least a known name.

    However, the 25 man squad with the homegrown rules complicate matters further. Add to that the fact that many of the youth coming through will need to be registered in the next 2-3 years when they turn 21, figuring out where there is squad space and where to make space is very hard. It requires predicting players’ growth and team needs about 2 years in advance, and will also mean a high dropout rate for youngsters. Besides, with Denilson and Bendtner probably leaving (Clichy too) we’ll be losing some homegrown players. Maybe that is why we went in for an English player like Jones even if he’s not worth 16 million?

  • Shard

    Walter, Tony, all

    Maybe you could clear up one doubt I had. Do our loanees such as e.g. Botelho, who we signed a few years ago, but have not been in the country since then, qualify as homegrown players?

  • Anne


    That’s a good point about bringing in a big name signing just to boost morale among the fans. I hadn’t thought about it like that. Which big name would you like to bring in, if you had the choice? I’ll give you David Villa for Chamakh, assuming that Barcelona management approves the deal 🙂

  • Anne

    It just occurred to me, I hope that no one from the Sun is checking this thread. If they are, the proposed Villa for Chamakh swap will be all over the headlines tomorrow…

  • Shard


    LOL. Pity you’re not in charge there 🙂 I saw Villa play at the Emirates Cup 4!! (Didn’t realise it had been that long) years ago with Valencia. RVP and Villa up front were probably my dream partnership. Somethings just aren’t meant to be I suppose.

    As for who this big name should be. I have no idea. Personally I don’t care about the fame of the players we buy. But in terms of morale I think it is important we get in a ‘known’ name, even though players of Villa’s calibre will probably be out of the price range. I loved Sanchez at the World Cup, but at 30 million no way. Benzema has been talked about and while he might well get some people excited, I’m not entirely convinced by him. Basically, as I said, I don;t know who. I leave that to Wenger. Oh, as a final thought. Again, not realistically, but if Cesc were to leave, Pastore (Palermo) is the only player I can think of as a direct replacement. Apparently he’s worth 44million pounds though 🙂

  • Mandy dodd

    For the utd erm sympathisers on here praising their management and bemoaning the fact we missed out on jones, assuming we were ever actually interested in him, can I point you towards bebe obertan djemba twins kleberson taibi veron and so many others. Fergie does not always get it right far from it, it is just he will spend a fortune to correct his mistakes

  • Mandy dodd

    Not sure he is a big name shard but keep hearing chelsea will get drogba and Defoe will join us. Sounds like nonsense, please tell me it will not happen!

  • Anne


    I don’t really like Benzema for Arsenal either. After watching him play for Madrid this season, I’m underwhelmed, honestly. I think he’s more suited to a team that plays in the style of ManU. If you want a striker, I would recommend Guiseppe Rossi from Villareal. He’s currently being named as a Barcelona transfer target, but you can have him (aren’t I nice?).

    Villareal’s style is much more similar to Arsenal’s, and Rossi has really excelled this season, to the point where he’s pretty much outgrown Villareal (and what they’re able to pay him). Arsenal would be a step up in prestige for him, so you’d stand a good chance of getting him. Arsene, are you reading this? If so, I hope you know how lucky you are to get my expert advice for free 🙂

    As for a direct replacement for Cesc, I don’t know…Doubt it will become an issue, but if the rumors that he’s leaving are correct, it looks like you’ll be getting Tiago Alcantara in his place. Personally I think he can fill Cesc’s position better than Cesc (given a couple years), so you’d be getting a steal of a deal on that one. I just hope Barcelona isn’t stupid enough to actually do it. If they are, you’ll be having the last laugh 🙂

  • bob

    @Anne: no thanks for the baited hook: Cesc is Cesc and sorry, you don’t have him.

    Also, are the D Villa Cescy-come-home press reports all made up out of whole cloth; or are they this summer’s opening salvo for tappy-tapp? Wondering whether you’ve been on this episode (or non-event?) as with last summer’s? Any specifics on your mind?

    Also, what do you make of Arsene opening up Colney as a training ground for the winning side in this year’s CL? Even as he publicly “backed” SAF in the press in the run-up to the game. I must say, that liked that bit of “even-handed” gamesmanship on Arsene’s part.

  • Shard

    @Mandy dodd

    It will not happen.

  • Shard


    Sorry, but in no way would we be getting the last laugh if THAT deal were to go through. Especially with the price that Barcelona seem to be offering. Why would we want a player who may or may not turn into Cesc 2 or 3 years from now, instead of cold hard cash to spend however we see fit? Besides, if Thiago does become any good with us, the same saga will start again about how Thiago deserves to come home.

    Rossi is interesting, and while he’d fit into our style of play I think it can only be as a substitute for Van Persie. I also think we need someone who is a bit stronger and bigger up front. Sounds foolish but it is England we are talking about. Would Rossi even want to play in England? He’s a former ManU player and he didn’t seem to want to join them again. I don’t see this happening at all. He’ll probably go to Barcelona, and Bojan might well come to us (pure speculation) to play more on the wing than up front.

    Benzema in fact CAN fit into our system (which I suspect might be changed or at least made more flexible) as either the lone striker, or with RVP playing just behind him. It’s just that I remain unconvinced about Benzema as a player. However, I am no judge of talent as the Phil Jones transfer attempt shows 🙂

  • Mandy dodd

    Sorry meant spurs will get drog but thanks for much needed reassurance!
    That is a very high price for an unproven player like jones, and for that matter Henderson. Must put wilshere into the priceless bracket

  • Shard

    @Mandy dodd

    As I said before, the only reason I can attribute that to, is that we’ll need English or Homegrown players for our squad. That plus the fact that English defenders seem to get away with a lot more fouls means that defense or defensive players are the best English players to buy. I don’t see very many technical English players we can target to play in our system up front, or even on the wings. Ashley Young probably being the exception, though even he isn’t the greatest technically.

  • Shard


    Just saw the tackle on Van Persie. Potentially a leg breaker but I think there was minimal direct contact, so got lucky there. You did say he could continue playing right?

  • walter

    Yes to the reports in Belgium he could play further. But he sure was lucky. Thanks for the link. still shivering a bit….

  • Adam

    Yet again rule book thrown out of the window for a friendly game. That ref needs to be kicked out of the game.

  • bob

    Viewing RvP/Lugano event:
    Just in case you can’t view the video of RvP’s near SCARY injury, I’d copy Shard’s link and paste it into your browser address area and it will send you right to the video. I was not able to display it on that wepage by clicking directly on the link. I’ve read that Lugano is rumored to be on the way to Stoke as backup to Shawcross. (wink, wink)

  • Gooner Gal

    I am happy we announced the signing a bit late so that numnuts Pearce couldn’t call him up for the Under 21’s. Be rest assurd though that the FA now will make this their top priory over the next six months. Fighting FIFA crime will have to take a back seat.

  • Shard

    @Gooner Gal

    As of now, Stuart Pearce has no jurisdiction on Jenkinson. He represents Finland.

  • Gooner Gal

    Shard, he can still switch allegiance back to England as he has’nt played for Finland at senior level yet.