Following the confirmation that Carl Jenkinson was training with the England squad yesterday, there were several raised eyebrows after the player had represented the Finland youth teams in an earlier stage of his career. However, it has now been confirmed that the former Charlton defender will represent the Three Lions, with Roy Hodgson stating that Jenkinson “didn’t take a lot of convincing”.
Even though Jenkinson is not traveling to Warsaw for the forthcoming England fixture against Poland, he has been gifted the opportunity to train with the squad as they are currently based at the Emirates Stadium. Hodgson also confirmed earlier in the week that Jenkinson was very unlucky not to be named in the full squad after fellow Gunners full back Kieran Gibbs made the cut instead.
However, even though Jenkinson was not going to play for England this week, several people were questioning his eligibility in the first place after he represented Finland’s under-21 team not too long ago. This is due to the fact that his mother is Finnish, although his English father means that he is still eligible to feature for the Three Lions.
Bearing the above in mind, Hodgson has moved to clarify the situation. He said, “He didn’t take a lot of convincing. I don’t want to trick him to play for England in a few minutes in a game to block him, but he had to make a decision because we’re very interested in him, even if the competition is tougher to get him into the England team rather than the Finland team. He made it very clear he wanted to play for England.”
Following Jenkinson’s experience training with the national team, Arsene Wenger will be hoping that this will help him continue to progress in the Gunners first team like he has been doing throughout the season.