Young players pledge futures to Arsenal

Last updated 08:30 20/12/2012

Relevant offers

Football

Diafra Sakho sparks club vs country row after West Ham outing Middlesbrough handed trip to holders Arsenal in fifth round FA Cup draw New Zealand beat Tahiti on penalties to seal spot at under-17 boys' World Cup Argentina football great Juan Roman Riquelme retires Dutch FA president Michael Van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for Fifa presidency Socceroos beat UAE, march into Asian Cup final Football Ferns to play glamour fixture against United States team Cristiano Ronaldo's suspension a worry for stuttering Real Madrid Goal-line technology cannot come fast enough for Serie A Liverpool's Mario Balotelli must improve in training - Brendan Rodgers

England's Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are among five young internationals to have pledged their long-term futures to Arsenal, the Premier League club said.

Midfielders Wilshere, 20, and 19-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain 2012, plus Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey (21) and England defenders Kieran Gibbs (23) and Carl Jenkinson (20) have all committed themselves to Arsenal.

''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,'' manager Arsene Wenger told the club's website.

''We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts,'' added the Frenchman.

No details on the lengths of the contracts were given though Wenger was keen to impress that the nurturing of home-grown talent was one of the club's main objectives.

''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.''

Arsenal have not won a trophy since the 20005 FA Cup and a host of big names have left the London club since, including Spain midfielder Cesc Fabregas who moved to Barcelona and talismanic striker Robin van Persie who joined Manchester United.

Wenger, criticised this season with his side fifth in the Premier League 15 points behind leaders United and knocked out of the League Cup by fourth tier Bradford City, has often put his faith in young players since his tenure began in 1996.

''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,'' said the 63-year-old.Of the five players, Ramsey is the most-capped international with 25 appearances including several as Wales captain.

Wilshere has won six caps, though he missed 17 months through injury before returning to the team in October while Oxlade-Chamberlain has won nine England caps since his debut in May.

Defenders Gibbs (two caps) and Jenkinson (one) are the least experienced but Wenger said they were all of equal worth to Arsenal and the club's future.

''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,'' he said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content