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The Arsenal youngster reveals that despite making appearances for his mother's Finland, his loyalty lies with the Three Lions, for whom he has one full international cap

Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson has reaffirmed his loyalty to the England national team having played for both Finland at Under-21 level and the Three Lions.

The full-back, who was born in Essex to a Finnish mother, has revealed that he could not refuse the offer of playing for England when they approached him.

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Despite this, the 21-year-old remains something of a hero figure in Finland, receiving a standing ovation when playing for Arsenal in Helsinki and when making his debut for the senior England team away in Sweden.

“The reception was amazing. I was worried I might get booed. To go out there and get the response I did, it blew me away to be honest", the England international told the Mirror.

The defender's experiences will add to the debate over 'Englishness' that continues to rage following the comments of Jenkinson's Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere.

“It’s really strange. I’ve got friends in the Finland team. But when England came knocking, I had to follow my heart. I have always felt English,” Jenkinson continued.

“I have a supportive family, so there weren’t too many digs or trying to sway me one way or another.”

Jenkinson is set to appear for the England U21s against San Marino on Thursday night, and is likely to face Finland U21s next month.

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