Arsenal officially announced this morning that midfielder and Czech international captain Tomas Rosicky has signed a new deal with the club, with the exact terms of the contract remaining undisclosed. With two goals in the past three games and a run of good form coinciding with an expanded role after the injury of Aaron Ramsey, the contract is ample reward for a player who just a few months ago looked to be on the way out, but now appears to be finding his past form.
This news was first reported in Czech papers last week (and subsequently here), but the contract had not yet been signed. Initial reports claimed a two-year deal was in the works, but that has not been officially confirmed, nor has the value of the deal.
Some quotes follow after the jump.
Rosicky, on his new deal:
It's a great honour to sign a new deal with Arsenal, I love the Club and am proud to wear the Arsenal shirt. It's felt like home since I arrived six years ago and I couldn't be happier to commit my future to the team.
"The manager, my team-mates, the staff and the supporters - everyone plays their part in making this a great Club, and I feel privileged to be a part of it. I believe we have a really talented group of players and, together with the manager, the future looks bright. It's always been my goal to win trophies here at Arsenal, and I will fight hard to achieve my dreams here.
Manager Arsene Wenger, on why he wanted to keep Rosicky at Arsenal:
I’ve always been a big admirer of Tomas’ abilities and am delighted he’s chosen to commit his future to the Club. I believe he is an exceptional player, a natural footballer who is technically top class.
"He plays the style of football we champion here and shares completely our philosophy. He is always ready to work for the sake of the Club, always willing to put the team first. I have huge respect for him.
Me, from last week on why the deal is (most likely) a good thing:
If this ends up happening next week, as the article claims, I like the move very much (if the wages are reasonable, of course. Otherwise BLEH). Rosicky will turn 32 as next season opens, but this year - and in particular the past month or so - he has shown a lot of the traits that made him an attractive buy for Arsene Wenger in 2006. He's shown pace, passing ability and vision, and perhaps most importantly a dogged determination to get the ball from opponents. He's been a big part of the reason why Arsenal's pressing defense has been effective of late, and he isn't showing too many signs of age. His long injuries may actually help there - despite the fact that obviously he was hurt, while not playing he avoided certain wear and tear he might have suffered if he hadn't been hurt. Of course, if he hadn't been hurt he might be way better at football right now, but what's done is done.
The manager and the captain sing his praises, and he seems to be growing back into an important role on the team. At the very least this prevents his loss on a free transfer, so I say "go for it." Or "jdi do toho," as my translator tells me the saying goes in Czech.
So Tomas, if you're a reader, congratulations on the new contract. Why not celebrate with a goal or three tonight?