Arsene Wenger has named the group of players he believes that Arsenal ‘have to’ sign to new contract extensions, insisting that his British core of Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs was important to the club’s future.
The Gunners boss focussed particularly on the future of Oxlade-Chamberlain when speaking ahead of Monday night’s crunch clash with Crystal Palace, revealing his plans for the former Southampton youth star.
Wenger said: “I personally think it’s vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal. We bought him when he was very young and built him up. He has a great mentality and a good football brain and it would be big damage for us to lose this kind of player.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain’s contract will have just 12 months left on it at the end of the season – as will those of Ramsey, Gibbs and Wilshere – leaving them free to talk to other clubs come January, but Wenger insisted that all four would be tied down to new deals before that could happen, adding: “It will be done this year.
“We have to keep them all. Ramsey, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs. All these players we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together.”