Today's news that Jack Wilshere and four other British starlets have signed new deals at Arsenal, shows Arsene Wenger's faith in his youth policy is unwavering. has confirmed that Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey have all finalised new contracts.

This is great news for Arsenal and a bold move from Wenger considering the recent criticism he has faced. The Gunners boss has been subjected to savage attacks from the media and sections of the club's support.

Many of these outbursts have been aimed at his team-building and transfer policies. Specifically, the gripes have concerned Wenger's insistence on prioritising potential over established talent.

Securing the long-terms futures of this youthful quintet shows that Wenger's philosophy is still determining Arsenal's direction and ambition. It is a brazen, almost defiant move from Wenger to announce these deals at a time when many fans are anxiously anticipating major investment in experienced signings.

However, Wenger is showing that despite the mounting criticism, he remains as committed as ever to ensuring Arsenal are constructed with more than just the present in mind. Those who have one eye on the future will be buoyed by today's announcement.

Wenger has retained the home grown spine of Arsenal for years to come. That spine gets its strength from Wilshere.

The high-energy, diminutive midfield dynamo has been exceptional since his return from injury. Rather than merely occupying the halfway line, which he did for much of 2010/11, Wilshere is actively influencing the game in more advanced areas.

He is attacking the gaps between midfield and the forward line and is looking like the natural successor to Cesc Fabregas. That type of player is essential to Wenger's style of football.

As for the rest, Kieran Gibbs is beginning to show some real attacking flair as a full-back. That's another key tenant of how Wenger wants Arsenal to play.

Jenkinson has proved a capable deputy and the natural successor to Bacary Sagna at right-back. Oxlade-Chamberlain, while still raw and inconsistent, has undeniable talent.

Ramsey's deal will provoke the most controversy. Once an emerging star, the young Welshman has struggled to recover from the horrific leg break he suffered away to Stoke City in February 2010.

His hesitant performances have drawn the ire of a growing number of Arsenal fans. The result has been that Ramsey has been unwilling to take chances and lead, the way he did when he first came into the team.

Wenger is clearly still a huge fan, but there's no denying that Ramsey is a huge salvage project for the Arsenal manager.

The timing of these deals will ease the atmosphere of discontent after recent poor results. The club was certainly smart to make the announcement after Monday night's 5-2 trouncing of Reading.

Many fans will be encouraged that this news could signal the start of a frenzy of activity in the January transfer window. Others may be frustrated that it is more of the same from Wenger, again building through youth.

What is certain is that Wenger's faith in developing young talent, remains as strong as ever.