Arsenal have confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere have all penned new long-term deals with the club.
Following Monday night’s victory over Reading the British quintet, who have garnered over 350 appearances between them, were hailed by Arsene Wenger as the future of the club and the boss has spoken in similarly glowing terms this afternoon.
“We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts,” he told the club’s official website.
“The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players, in order to get them to develop their talent at the Club. Jack is certainly the best known, the leader of this group – but the other four players are exceptional footballers, and we’re very happy that we could conclude their new deals at the same time.
“Gibbs, Jenkinson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey and Wilshere represent a core of the squad and it’s an extension for a long period for all of them. I’m a strong believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together and that’s what we’ll try to achieve going forward.”
News of the deals, which have obviously been held back so we fans can salivate over them in one sitting, comes as a real Christmas treat in light of recent media criticism but does also highlight the lack of movement between Arsenal and Theo Walcott – a player who has had a deal on the table for much of the last year.
For now though, let’s focus on the positives. Five very talented players, all between 19 and 23-years of age, have committed their future to the Arsenal. Arsene has put his trust in them, let’s hope they can deliver the goods and end this god-forsaken trophy drought.