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This £5m Arsenal outcast would be an underwhelming replacement for Wan-Bissaka at Crystal Palace

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Crystal Palace opinion: Jenkinson would be an underwhelming signing

According to The Sun, Crystal Palace have identified the out-of-favour Arsenal star Carl Jenkinson as a potential replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who recently completed a £50 million move to Manchester United in the ongoing transfer window.

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The Sun understands that the Gunners are prepared to get the 27-year-old right-back off their books as a part of their squad overhaul and he is likely to be available for a fee of around £5million.

Palace are not the only club to have been linked with a move for the 1-cap England international, with Scottish giants Celtic, as well as Championship promotion hopefuls West Brom, also keeping close tabs on the situation. (h/t Sun)

The same report claims that Palace have a lot of cash but they are unwilling to break the bank to sign a replacement for Wan-Bissaka, with star man Wilfried Zaha’s departure also very much on the cards.

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Jenkinson made only 8 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners under Unai Emery this past season and it is pretty apparent that the 27-year-old doesn’t have a future at the Emirates, given that the manager opted to use youngsters like Ainsley Maitland-Niles in order to cover for the injury absence of first-choice Hector Bellerin. 

The Harlow-born defender has registered a grand total of 70 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions since making a switch from his boyhood club Charlton Athletic.

Jenkinson was used largely as a fringe player by former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and the arrival of Emery didn’t really boost his chances of getting a consistent run in the first team.

Jenkinson spent time on loan at West Ham and Birmingham City earlier in his career but he probably understands the need of giving up his Arsenal dream in order to carve out a reputation for himself in English football, now that he is 27 and certainly no longer a promising youngster.

The right-back desperately needs an escape route and Palace are prepared to offer him the chance to stay in the Premier League if he so wishes.

Looking at things from the player’s point of view, the prospect of regular first-team football at Selhurst Park, coupled with the presence of Roy Hodgson at the helm of affairs, is bound to appeal to Jenkinson.

The Sun suggests that Hodgson, who had handed Jenkinson his England debut back in 2012, is a big admirer of the 27-year-old and he wants to bring the right-back to South London.

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To put things into perspective, a move to Crystal Palace is likely to work wonders for Jenkinson’s faltering career, however, one cannot help but wonder whether the Eagles are doing the right thing by making a move for him.

Well, it is true that he is still only 27 and has plenty of time to resurrect his career but, given his poor track record at Arsenal, the fans at Selhurst Park have every reason to be sceptical about this move.

With all due respect to his abilities as a player, Jenkinson has done next to nothing over the course of his eight-year stay at the Emirates.

While it is true that stiff competition for places hasn’t allowed him to get a fair crack of the whip, it is also worth mentioning that the former Charlton man hasn’t done enough when called into action. 

The Gunners have gone through quite a lot of transitions in that right-back slot over the years but Jenkinson, despite being an ever-present, has never really been considered as a first-choice or even a realistic back-up for that matter. And there is definitely a concrete reason behind that.

Jenkinson, though an accurate crosser of the ball from the wide areas, has proven himself to be a suspect defensively, with his lack of positional sense and inability to deal effectively with the transitions in play often making him look like a liability at the back.

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As good as he is with his passing and crossing further up the pitch, the 27-year-old just doesn’t offer enough quality in terms of marking the opposition and keeping them at bay.

Palace have quite a lot to spend this summer following the big-money sale of Wan-Bissaka to Man United and they should look to reinvest that money in order to improve more than one area of their squad.

The potential departure of Zaha shouldn’t bother them too much, given that the Ivorian is unlikely to go on the cheap, particularly with the Eagles refusing to budge on their £80million valuation of the winger.

The Eagles have merely focussed on staying up in the Premier Leauge over the years but they need to show more ambition in the transfer market if they are really serious about challenging for better things moving forward.

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Carl Jenkinson isn’t the worst of options but signing him would be more of a desperate measure and that certainly doesn’t make a lot of sense, given that they have adequate money to spend. 

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Keeping that in mind, Roy Hodgson should drop his interest in the 27-year-old and spread his net, preferably in the other leagues across Europe, to bring in a quality replacement for Wan-Bissaka.