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Jack Wilshere And Four Others Sign Arsenal Contracts (PICTURES)

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Jack Wilshere is among five British players to sign new contracts at Arsenal.

Full-backs Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs, midfielder Aaron Ramsey and attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all committed their future to the club.

Manager Arsène 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.

“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 to keep them together and that’s what we’ll try to achieve going forward.”

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Jenkinson, Ramsey, Wilshere, Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain ink their new deals

Ramsey is the only non-Englishman of the aforementioned five, with Carl Jenkinson the latest to be capped by England after he pledged his allegiance to the Three Lions having played for Finland's Under-21s.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, at 19, is the youngest of the five with Kieran Gibbs, who made his Gunners debut in October 2007, the oldest at 23.

Jenkinson and Wilshere are both 20 while Ramsey, signed from Cardiff City in 2008, is 21.

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Wenger has identified the quintet as representing a British core of the squad for the future having unsuccessfully attempted to 'Anglicise' the Gunners before.

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In 2001 Wenger signed Francis Jeffers, Richard Wright and Sol Campbell however Wright was sold to Everton a year later and Jeffers was loaned out in 2003. Campbell enjoyed success at Highbury, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, but was a rare British presence in a predominantly foreign squad.

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