Carl Jenkinson says he’s ready to take over from Bacary Sagna as Arsenal’s first-choice right-back according to the Daily Star.
Sagna is set to quit the Gunners for Premier League champions Manchester City, after rejecting a new bumper three-year deal.
A host of defenders have been linked with Arsenal as potential replacements for Sagna, including Southampton youngster Calum Chambers, City’s Micah Richards and Toulouse man Serge Aurier.
But Jenkinson, who was capped by England in 2012, says he’s ready to step out of the shadows and become a first-team regular at the Emirates after serving his time as Sagna’s deputy.
“I feel that I am ready for it,” he told the Evening Standard. “It is never going to be easy to nail down that spot but I believe in myself and I believe in my ability.
“I want that position to be mine for years to come. Of course I have got a long way to go, because this is a club who look for the best players in the world. If I am going to hold down the position for as long as I want to, I have got a lot of hard work on my hands. But I believe in myself.
“I am the sort of player who needs to play regularly to get the best out of me.
“My fitness and my athleticism is a big part of my game, getting up and down the pitch. It is difficult to show what I can do when I am not playing regularly because it is hard to get into a rhythm.”
Jenkinson, who joined Arsenal from Charlton in 2011, has been linked with a move away from north London after finding a starting role hard to come by.
However, the 22-year-old insists he’s got no plans to leave any time soon.
“As far as I am concerned, you will have to drag me out of this club before I leave,” he added.
“I will work my socks off and hopefully next season can be a big one for me.
“If I have a good pre-season, work my way into the team and get a good run of games, there will be no holding me back.”