Has anyone lived the dream quite like Carl Jenkinson? The dream in question, of course, being becoming a footballer for your favourite team without actually doing anything of note – and being paid to do so.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the ultimate dream. Picking up a wage in your perfect job and doing next-to-nothing for seven years.
Are we really led to believe that Swiss international Lichtsteiner is more valuable to Arsenal than Jenkinson? Sure, he wasn’t great in his only season in North London, but come on.
What purpose has he served since joining? In fairness, the only way was up having scored a frankly glorious own-goal on his uncompetitive debut in a friendly against Cologne in 2011 (which incidentally, almost managed to upstage Gervinho scoring a brace – so make of that what you will).
And bar scoring an essentially insignificant goal against Norwich City in 2014 – his only Arsenal goal in the right end – his Gunners career to date has passed largely without incident and value. Yet somehow, the club continue to provide him with a wage that hardly befits his achievements in red and white.
Not that it’s slightly cool to have an Arsenal player who has Arsenal bed covers and whatnot, we’ve all been there literally dreaming of playing at Highbury draped in Gunners colours during the night.
So for someone to fulfil that dream is quite magical, really. But this is not about jealousy or congratulating Jenkinson. From an operational point of view, accommodating his status as an Arsenal player has been a disaster from the start.
Thought to be on wages around £45,000 a week, Arsenal will now do well to shift the full-back that clubs will have to fork out a silly amount of money on a player hardly deserving of that pay packet.
And just when Arsenal could do with flogging Jenkinson to seal a potential deal for Kieran Tierney, he may have to give up a large chunk of cash to persuade Celtic into a feasible swap deal. If he did so, it would arguably be the best thing he would have done as an Arsenal player – and that’s despite making 70 appearances as a Gunner.
If that doesn’t scream ‘wasted potential’, nothing probably will. But averaging 10 games a year and turning out for three different clubs during his Gunners career, it’s surely time Arsenal put to bed any hope of getting the most out of Jenkinson – and cut the cost of keeping him there any longer.