Arsenal have confirmed the contract renewals of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Carl Jenkinson, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on long term deals until either 2017 or 2018. Manager, Arsene Wenger had intended on sealing the futures of the British quintet back in late August and will be delighted after the losses of many key players in recent seasons due to contract issues such as Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie as the Frenchman seeks to build a British core.
“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," said Wenger.
The youngsters' - with an average age of 20.6 and average cap of 8.6 - confirming their loyalty to the club is the first step for Wenger as he aims to end the trophy drought currently present at Arsenal and build a British core at the club which will last for many years to come.
"My dream was always to produce 60% English and 40% foreign young players. 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,” stated Wenger.
Wenger's next step is to secure the future of Theo Walcott - Arsenal's top scorer this season - as the former Southampton man's contract expires at the end of this season, with the Gunners believed to be offering the England international virtually the same contract as Wilshere's.