Carl Jenkinson, who is eligible to play for both Finland and England, has apparently chosen to represent the Three Lions in the future, should he be selected. I guess, this is a no-brainer after the success he has at club level. Jenkinson, who played for Finland at U-21 level trained with the England squad at Colney but is not included in the official selection for the World Cup qualification match against Poland later tonight.
With the possible inclusion of Jenkinson in the future, Arsenal will be a major contributor the England squad in the future. As I have mentioned in my post earlier this year, without Jenkinson, Arsenal already had 4 players likely to make the future England squad. Now with Jenkinson and possibly Afobe in the near future, half the national team could be coming from the Gunners. It could have been more if not for Emmanuel Frimpong, who has represent England at age group level, committing himself to Ghana at senior level. Even then, this is a very surprising turn of events since Arsenal were the ones often vilified for not doing enough for England and English players in general.
All this proves that youth development can be good for both club and country. In recent days, there has been much furore about clubs not doing enough for the country especially the admission by both Patrick Vieira and Brian Marwood that Manchester City is more concerned about building up youth talent for the club, not necessarily the country. What Manchester City is doing is nothing new as they are basically copying Arsenal’s blueprint.
However, as we have proven, building up a youth program without talent from all over the world does not weakened the countries youth prospect. If anything, it probably enhances the program as the youth from England are exposed and challenged by talents from all over the world. I am sure players like Wilshere, Gibbs. Ramsey, Jenkinson et all have all benefited from training and competing with the likes of Coquelin, Diaby, Yennaris, Miquel and so on. You can only improve when competing with the best and this applies to youth development as well. I am sure as more clubs follow the Arsenal blueprint, we will be seeing more talented English players coming through the ranks of Premiership clubs.
In the meantime, England can reap the rewards of Arsenal’s youth development and hopefully our young talents can carry England to international success in the near future.