Hodgson: Jenkinson keen on England

The Bolton News: Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson has pledged his international future to playing for England Arsenal's Carl Jenkinson has pledged his international future to playing for England

Roy Hodgson has received assurances from Carl Jenkinson that the youngster's future lies with England.

The Arsenal defender is also qualified for Finland, through his mother Hayde, who was brought up in a small village close to Helsinki. Whilst he represented England at Under-17 level, his bond with Scandinavia was strong enough for him to represent Finland Under-19s, and also their Under-21s.

Old friend and current Finland boss Mixu Paatelainen told Hodgson to keep his hands off the full-back when they met recently. But after sitting down to talk with Jenkinson, the England boss said: "He made it very clear he wanted to play for England. We are now making overtures to FIFA to try and make certain we can have him as an England player."

Hodgson rung Jenkinson over the weekend to ask whether he would train with the Three Lions on Sunday as Kyle Walker nursed a calf injury. And after having a chat with the 20-year-old, Hodgson will now look to ensure Jenkinson can be invited into the England fold on a more formal basis for next month's friendly with Sweden.

"We had a problem with Kyle Walker and wanted a full complement in our training session," said Hodgson. "Carl was in my thoughts anyway, so I invited him to train with us knowing full well he couldn't take part in this game.

"But that gave me the opportunity to sit him down and ask him the question. I don't want to trick him into playing for England for a few minutes just 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."

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