Arsenal Football Club has confirmed the signing of 19-year-old defender Carl Jenkinson from Charlton Athletic - their first signing of this transfer window.

The Finnish U21- player, a 6ft 1in full-back, played eight times for Charlton last season, having made his debut in December. He qualifies to play for England and is mainly a full-back, though he can play as a centre-back as well.

A life-long Arsenal fan, Jenkinson was born to Finnish parents in England, and he has captained the Finland Under-19 side, while having also represented England at youth level too.

Neither team disclosed the transfer fee involved.

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

Stephen Kavanagh, Charlton's chief executive, said in a statement, 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.

The last few weeks of the season were difficult as the deal was finalised but could not be signed until the Premier League transfer window opened.

But Carl's attitude throughout has been exemplary, and he made clear from the start that he wanted the club that produced and nurtured him to benefit from the deal in the right way and not by having to rely on compensation rights.

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