|This time last year they were touted as England's future at full back|
What a difference a year makes! This time last Summer West Ham were trying to tie down the impressive Carl Jenkinson to either a full transfer or further loan period. Fees as high as £12 were quoted for the right back's permanent services and the Hammers finally opted for a season long extension of his loan.
Then it went wrong, horribly wrong. Jenks suffered a drop in form and a series of blunders led to James Tomkins being pushed to right back to shore up a misfiring defence. Jenkinson's confidence was visibly effected and just as Superslav was gently re-introducing him to the action disaster struck.
The unfortunate Jenkinson tore his cruciate ligament against Man City in January and was shipped back to Arsenal for treatment. After a six month lay off he is scheduled to return in the coming weeks, but what next for the 24 year old?
Arsenal's resources at right back contrast sharply with West Ham as they have the impressive Hector Bellerin and a host of understudies including Matthieu Debuchy and Callum Chambers. Is there really room at the Emirates for Jenkinson?
Meanwhile, West Ham need a right back (or two!). There seems to be a possible meeting of needs. Jenkinson certainly wouldn't command the crazy transfer fees being suggested this time last year. It's also worth remembering how impressive Jenks was in his first season at West Ham - so much so that he was on the verge of an England call up. Pacey, solid and disciplined in defence, he was a real threat going forward.
It's also worth noting that West Ham sent him a very public best wishes for the coming season greeting just a few weeks ago. Sam Byram looks ready to step up but, as last night's action demonstrated, may find himself shifted to left back to fill in for the injured Aaron Cresswell. Could Jenkinson provide a solution to West Ham's full back problem?