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Oct, 2, 2012

Jenkinson focussing on club over country

Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson is determined to focus on his club football despite questions over where his international future lies.

Jenkinson, 20, has been touted for a call-up to the England squad for their World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Poland next week, following his impressive form this season.

The full-back has previously represented England Under-17s, however, he has also represented Finland's youth teams up to Under-21 level - due to having a Finnish mother.

The former Charlton player has yet to commit to Finland, who have tried to persuade him, preferring to concentrate on Arsenal for the time being.

"To be honest I'm just concentrating on my club football, that's my bread and butter,'' he said. "I think I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm just focused on the here and now and the next game and that's tomorrow [Wednesday] with Olympiacos.

"Finland have contacted me. I've told them my exact words when I spoke to them was 'I'm focusing on my club football' so that's all there is to it. You can read into that how you want.

"I'm going to have to make a decision at some point. As I've said many times, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Until then I'm just concentrating on each game as it comes.''

That Jenkinson is even being talked about for an England call-up is a sign of how much the player has improved since moving to the Gunners from Charlton last summer.

After a shaky debut season in the Premier League that was stunted by a knee problem, he has impressed so much this term that Bacary Sagna's long-term absence with injury has barely been noticed at the Emirates.

"It has been a whirlwind year,'' Jenkinson added. "I've realised in football, there's always ups and downs and it's about trying to keep a level head. You're always going to have downs in football, but at the same time, you're always going to have ups as well and I've just tried to not take the downs too personally and just concentrate on my own game and respond.

"I feel comfortable at this level now. I think acclimatised you could say. I feel comfortable playing at this level now, and I just want to push on from now and hopefully keep going as I'm going.''

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