Monday 20 November 2017

Wenger looking to the future after wrapping up new Gunners deal

Liverpool manager Arsene Wenger
Liverpool manager Arsene Wenger

Matt Law

Arsene Wenger claimed Arsenal are "entering a very exciting period" after finally signing his new three-year contract.

Arsenal have announced that Wenger has put pen to paper on a new deal that will run to 2017 and is worth £22.5m.

Wenger had always insisted he would sign the new contract, but waited until he had finally ended Arsenal's trophy drought by winning the FA Cup against Hull City at Wembley a fortnight ago.

It is believed Wenger has around £100m at his disposal this summer to try to maintain a Premier League challenge and progress further in the Champions League next season.

Wenger is the longest-serving manager in England. The extension will take his reign at Arsenal to over 20 years and the 64-year-old is optimistic that the next three years will be successful.

"I want to stay and to continue to develop the team and the club," he said. "We are entering a very exciting period. We have a strong squad, financial stability and huge support around the world. We are all determined to bring more success to this club.

"The club has always shown faith in me and I'm very grateful for that. We have gone through fantastic periods and also periods where we have had to stick together," added the Frenchman. "Every time when that togetherness was tested I got the right response. I think I have shown some loyalty as well towards this club and, hopefully, we can make some more history. I am sure we can."

Theo Walcott tweeted: "Great news on the boss signing!!! Exciting times ahead #AFC."

Wenger will try to sign at least one new striker with Arsenal in talks with Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata. In addition he wants a central midfielder, a new right-back and a deputy goalkeeper.

Despite the fact the club went nine years without a trophy before the FA Cup success, owner Stan Kroenke always remained adamant he wanted Wenger to stay.

Kroenke values the fact that, under Wenger, Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League for 17 consecutive years – a record equalled only by Real Madrid.

"Sustained excellence is the hardest thing to achieve in sport and the fact Arsenal has competed at the top of the game in England and Europe throughout the time Arsene has been manager, is the ultimate testimony to his consistency of performance, talent and ambition," said Kroenke.

"We are delighted with the FA Cup success which has added to his already outstanding record. Under his guidance we look forward to adding more trophies in future seasons."

Wenger has guided Arsenal to three League titles, five FA Cups – including two League and Cup doubles in 1998 and 2002.

UNBEATEN

He was the first manager in English League history to complete an entire 38-match season unbeaten in 2003-04 on the way to the club's historic 49-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

Arsenal chairman Chips Keswick said: "We are delighted that Arsene has renewed his contract for a further three years. He is a man of principle, who lives and breathes Arsenal. He has established Arsenal for its exciting playing style around the world, continues his commitment to young players and has the ability to bring top-class players to the club.

"I have no doubt we have an exciting future ahead of us with him leading the team." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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