Former Charlton defender reveals his delight after securing Arsenal switch
Jenkinson wishes Addicks fan well after compensation package is agreed
Carl Jenkinson says he has fulfilled a boyhood dream after finally completing his long-awaited move to Arsenal from Charlton Athletic.
The right back, who can also operate in central defence, graduated from the Charlton Academy and began to establish a first-team spot when Chris Powell was appointed as manager.
However, the 19-year-old let it be known to club officials in March that he would not be signing an extension to his contract - which expired this month - after learning of Arsene Wenger’s interest.
With the player’s mind made up, the two clubs began negotiating compensation and terms have finally been agreed on a package which is thought to be potentially worth up to �2million to the Addicks.
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“Can’t begin to describe my happiness in joining my boyhood club, a big thank you to all the Arsenal fans who have welcomed me on here and to all the Charlton fans who have wished me well :),” Jenkinson wrote on his official Twitter account.
In a club statement, Jenkinson added: ““I will always be in Charlton’s debt for the training they have given me since a young age. I’m grateful to the club’s academy and all the coaching staff, so I’m delighted the two clubs have come to an agreement.
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“I hope supporters will understand why I can’t turn down such an opportunity, but Charlton will always have a place in my heart.”
Although disappointed to lose one of their brightest prospects, the deal is a welcome financial boost to a side who are currently on a recruitment drive as they plan for another season in League One.
“This is a great move for Carl, and it’s difficult to stand in the way of a player when a club the size of Arsenal expresses interest, particularly if, like Carl, you come from an Arsenal-supporting family,” said chief executive Stephen Kavanagh.
“The last few weeks of the season were difficult as the deal was finalised but could not be signed until the Premier League transfer window opened. But Carl’s attitude throughout has been exemplary, and he made clear from the start that he wanted the club that produced and nurtured him to benefit from the deal in the right way and not by having to rely on compensation rights.
“I would like to thank Carl, his father and Arsenal for their professional manner in dealing with matters.”
Manager Chris Powell, who has offered support to Jenkinson through the entire process - including when supporters turned on the Finland under-19 international during the home game against Huddersfield Town, believes the defender has the ability to eventually break into the Arsenal first team.
“I want to put on record how much I admire Carl as player and, more importantly, as a young man,” he said. “I wish him well on behalf of all the staff and players, because it’s a dream move for him.
“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.”
He added: “We will always look back at his time with us with fondness because he’s been with us since he was an under-nine player, and we hope he brings all the values that’s he’s learned here to Arsenal.
“I’m sure under the guidance of Arsene and his team, he could blossom into a wonderful player.”