Charlton Athletic's Carl Jenkinson gets away from Carlisle United's Tom Taiwo

By Alexander Robertson

HARLOW-born Carl Jenkinson has become Arsenal’s first signing of the summer transfer window.

The 19-year-old defender has signed from League One side Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £1,000,000.

Jenkinson, who holds a British and Finnish dual-nationality and has played for both countries at youth level, made his debut for the Addicks in December and went on to feature eight times last season.

The versatile right-footer can play anywhere across the back-four and at 6ft 1in will bring much needed height to the Arsenal backline.

Jenkinson had been at Charlton since he was eight-years-old and despite leaving to join his “boyhood club”, says he will miss the South London side.

“I hope supporters will understand why I can’t turn down such an opportunity, but Charlton will always have a place in my heart,” said Jenkinson.

“I will always be in Charlton’s debt for the training they have given me since a young age.

“I’m grateful to the club’s academy and all the coaching staff, so I’m delighted the two clubs have come to an agreement.”

Charlton chief-executive Stephen Kavanagh said: “This is a great move for Carl, and it’s difficult to stand in the way of a player when a club the size of Arsenal expresses interest, particularly if, like Carl, you come from an Arsenal-supporting family.

“I would like to thank Carl, his father and Arsenal for their professional manner in dealing with matters.”

Arsenal have also tied England youngsters Benik Afobe and Chuks Aneke to long-term deals, along with Dutch youth international midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.