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West Brom Opinion: Carl Jenkinson could prove to be an ideal replacement for Mason Holgate at the Hawthorns

According to The Sun, West Brom are interested in signing right-back Carl Jenkinson from Arsenal in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming that the Gunners are keen to get the 27-year-old defender off their books.

The Sun understands that Jenkinson, who is out of contract at the Emirates at the end of the month, doesn’t feature in manager Unai Emery’s plans moving forward and the Gunners are prepared to move him on in order to make way for new arrivals.

West Brom, though, are not the only club to have been credited with an interest in the 27-year-old, with The Sun suggesting that Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are also interested in signing the right-back. The Hoops are currently in the market for a new right-sided defender, with the likes Cristian Gamboa, Mikael Lustig and Jeremy Toljan all looking set to depart Parkhead this summer.

Jenkinson made only 8 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions this past season, including three in the Premier League, and it is hardly a surprise to see the Gunners prepared to offload him and get him off their payroll. The 27-year-old, who currently earns £45,000-a-week at the Emirates is one of the fringe players in Emery’s squad and it looks like his dreadful spell at North London is finally going to come to an end.

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A youth product of Charlton, Jenkinson was snapped up as a promising youngster by the Gunners back in the summer of 2011. However, his career at the Emirates has failed to really take off and the right-back has found himself in and out of the first-team, spending time on loan at West Ham and Birmingham City.  

The one-cap England international has made only 70 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions over the course of 8 years and it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to figure out that he needs to complete a move elsewhere in order to play regularly and really make a name for himself.

To put things into perspective, a move to Championship promotion-hopefuls West Brom could do a world of good to Jenkinson’s faltering career which has come to an absolute standstill at Arsenal. The Baggies are seemingly in the market for a new right-back this summer, following the appointment of Slaven Bilic as the new permanent manager and Jenkinson certainly fits the bill.

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West Brom’s penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in the semi-finals of the playoffs ended their chances of making it back to the Premier League at the first time of asking but the Baggies will be expected to reignite their surge for promotion next term.

Bilic has plenty of problems to sort out in a relatively short span of time, and while bringing in reinforcements in the central midfield and striking department continue to be on the new manager’s wishlist, the Croatian also needs to prioritise the recruitment of a few defenders.

The departure of Mason Holgate and Tosin Adarabioyo to their parent clubs Everton and Manchester City has left a huge void at the back and it is easy to see that the arrival of Jenkinson would solve a lot of problems for the Baggies.

The 27-year-old might have struggled to make a big impression with Arsenal in the Premier League but a return to the Championship is likely to see him rediscover his form. He is no longer a promising youngster at the age of 27 and dropping down a division won’t necessarily be the worst thing for his career.

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Noted for his well-rounded crossing and passing abilities, Jenkinson is more than capable of playing right-back and wing-back roles and the Baggies should certainly benefit from his top-flight experience, as they look to challenge for promotion back to the Premier League next term.

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It won’t be much of a gamble for West Brom to bring him to the club this summer, and given that he is likely to be available for free, the acquisition of the 27-year-old could prove to be a massive coup for the Baggies.

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