Five Gunners sign new contracts
If it’s a psychological war Arsene Wenger wants in his bid to resign Theo Walcott, then the shot he fired across the bow today will surely put some pressure on.
December 19th, 2012
Earlier this afternoon the club announced that no less than five Arsenal players – Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere – have all signed on the dotted line to extend their contracts for either four or five years, with the exception of Jack Wilshere who should remain a Gunner until 2018.
“I believe when you have a core of British players, it’s always easier to keep them together,” said Wenger. “We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts.
“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.”
Between the five re-signees, Arsenal has benefited from their 355 appearances and 21 goals – but Wenger should be keen to point out the lengths he’s taken to secure their services in hopes of keeping another. Theo Walcott has still not signed a new deal with the club, and is sure to be targeted for a move in January – with Manchesters United and City thought to be at the head of the queue for his signature.
“[Wilshere] is certainly the best known…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.”
As gestures go, this is an excellent indicator of Wenger’s keenness to stick with the young talent – but with the likes of Robin van Persie having already been shown the door this year, Arsenal fans will be biting their nails for a few more weeks to come.