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Arsenal hand deals to five

Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson have all signed new long-term contracts with Arsenal.

Last Updated: 22/12/12 at 14:48 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger with Jack Wilshire, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran

Arsene Wenger with Jack Wilshire, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who is hoping to tie down Theo Walcott on an extended contract, admits he is hoping the five players will form the spine of his team for some time to come.

Gibbs is the oldest of the bunch at 23 and he has already received international recognition along with Ramsey (21), Oxlade-Chamberlain (19), Wilshere and Jenkinson (both 20) at various levels.

Wenger said: "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.

"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.

"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."

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