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Mertesacker and Rosicky more than happy to stay on as Gunners

Arsenal have been given a double boost after announcing both defender Per Mertesacker and midfielder Tomas Rosicky have signed new contracts with the club.

Germany international Mertesacker, 29, has established himself as a key member of Arsene Wenger's first-choice back-four.

Rosicky, 33, also continues to form an integral part of Wenger's squad and the Gunners boss is pleased that both players are staying.

"We are delighted that Mertesacker and Rosicky have committed their futures to the club," he said.

"They are players of exceptional quality and experience, and have consistently proven themselves at the highest level. There is a great feeling of togetherness and belief in the group and this news will only help to strengthen this further."

Mertesacker, signed from Werder Bremen in 2011, has started all but two of Arsenal's Premier League fixtures so far this season and – with 95 Germany caps to his name – his experience has proved invaluable.

The defender said signing a new deal was a simple decision to make as he has a passion for the club.

"It was easy for me to commit myself to the club," he said.

THANKFUL

"I have become a real Gunner ... I am truly thankful to the club and all the supporters for the time I have had here so far."

With the club-record signing of Mertesacker's compatriot Mesut Ozil in the summer and the emergence of Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere in recent times, Rosicky was widely expected to be the man who missed out on playing regularly for Arsenal.

But the Czech Republic star has featured 27 times across all competitions this season and is aiming to pick up his first league crown with a club he joined more than eight years ago.

"I'm very happy that I'm staying at the club," he said. "Ever since I arrived at Arsenal, I have always felt that I'm at the right place where I want to be. I still feel this way now and I'm proud that after such a long time I'm still here and will continue."

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner, however, is out of contract at the end of the season and so could now sign an agreement to move abroad as a free agent.

However, the Dane, who is expected to line out in the friendly against england tonight, has no intention of being anything other than fully focused for what could be his final few months at a club where he came through the youth ranks.

"I have been very positive. I feel I have shown every time I have played that I want to play there," said Bendtner, who could come back into contention for Arsenal's starting XI in the FA Cup quarter-final against Everton on Saturday.


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