Wednesday 19 December 2012
Five young Arsenal international stars have signed new long-term contracts with the club.
Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs have all put pen to paper to commit their futures to the Gunners.
The five players are key members of the Arsenal squad, with the quintet now having more than 350 first-team appearances between them, and Gunners manager Arsene Wenger said he was delighted with the contract news.
"I'm a strong believer in stability and I believe when you have a core of British players, it's always easier"
"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," he told the club's official website.
"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."
Four of the five players were in the squad that returned to winning ways with a 5-2 victory over Reading on Monday.
The Gunners face Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday and Ramsey said the squad are "hungrier than ever" to pick up the club's first trophy since 2005.
"I’ve seen the desire for the last four years," Ramsey told Arsenal Player. "Things have popped up in games which have killed us but the desire has always been there.
"We know we have the ability. Mentally, we need to be in the right state of mind [in] every game and go into it believing we can win.
"It's not all about that. You have to grind out results sometimes. Teams aren't going to let you push them over easily in this league. It's turned into a league where anybody can beat anybody so we have to be on our game every single time we go out there and put in a good performance, be mentally right and physically in the right shape."