It what can only be termed as good news, five of Arsenal's young British "core", Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, and Carl Jenkinson have all signed new long-term contracts at the club, taking their various deals to 2017 and 2018. Yeah, it's that kind of long-term.
Re-signing Wilshere is the deal that stands out. Not only is he the best player among the gang of five (yeah. Deal with it), but he's also one of the best players at the club, and given the recent exodus of players who ran their contract down, it's very good to see Wilshere, who's current deal ran out in 2014, committing his future to the club.
Yet, it's also good to see the other players re-sign too. All of them have made positive contributions to Arsenal this season; Jenkinson and Gibbs have both been excellent, with Jenkinson deservedly winning his first England cap, and while Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey have found things a little more difficult, both have shown flashes of the quality that we know that they have.
Arsene Wenger had spoken in recent weeks about building a core of young, British players who would remain loyal to the club throughout (coughNasricough), and he appeared very pleased about the new contracts, saying
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.
Now all they need to do is get Walcott to re-sign, and fans can think about an Arsenal team full of homegrown players, and an England team full of Arsenal players.