Arsène Wenger has confirmed that Francis Coquelin and Chuba Akpom, who were both out of contract in the summer, have signed contract extensions. It is thought that Akpom's contract will now expire in the summer of 2019 and Coquelin's contract in the summer of 2018. Akpom rejected offers from FC Twente, Borussia Dortmund and possibly other overseas clubs to sign an extension with Arsenal, an outlook that had not looked likely not even a month ago. Following three appearances, including impressive outings against Brighton and Hove Albion and last weekend against Aston Villa, Akpom had a change of heart.
Delighted to have signed a new deal with @Arsenal. Lots of hard work to come but very excited about the future #AFC pic.twitter.com/2oIjCMvP93— Chuba Akpom (@cakpom) February 6, 2015
Francis Coquelin's Arsenal career also looked like it was close to its end: following a loan to Charlton Athletic, many assumed Coquelin would leave at the end of the season, especially as he had been found to be surplus to requirements last season. But after injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta, Coquelin returned, and played well in starts against West Ham and Southampton, before playing a vital role in Arsenal's 2-0 victory against Manchester City. While it remains to be seen if Coquelin is a long-term option, he is, at the very least, a likely upgrade over Mathieu Flamini. Coquelin's contract will take him to 2018, which will, incredibly, mark his 10th season as an Arsenal player.