Arsene Wenger made it clear that Arsenal are keen to retain the services of young British players in the squad all of whom will enter the final year of their contracts at the end of the season.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs will all have one year left on the five-and-a-half year contracts they signed in 2012 and Wenger wants the club to agree extensions with the quartet and keep them at the Emirates Stadium for the foreseeable future. Apart from the Welshman, the aforementioned trio have been linked with moves away from the club with Premier League rivals showing interest in signing them.
Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey have featured more regularly in the first-team than the latter two, but are yet to nail down a regular place in the starting XI. The former has impressed this season in midfield rather than his regular role on the wings, while the latter has had an inconsistent season dotted with injury absences.
Gibbs, on the other hand, has struggled for regular game time after falling behind Nacho Monreal in the pecking order for a place at left-back. Wenger has used the Spaniard in most of the games with the England international only being afforded game time in the domestic cup competitions or when the latter was out injured.
Wilshere, meanwhile, has spent the season away from the club on loan at Bournemouth and revealed that he will only discuss his future at the end of the season. The 25-year-old midfielder has missed large chunks of football in recent seasons owing to multiple injuries, but has enjoyed largely injury-free spells while putting in some impressive displays for the Cherries.
"We have to keep them all," Wenger said ahead of Monday night's (10 April) game at Crystal Palace, as quoted by ESPN. "We still have a group of young English players. We have Ramsey, we have Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs. All these players, we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together."
Wenger paid special attention to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has impressed in a more deep lying midfield role this season. The French coach believes it is vital for Arsenal to secure the England international's future and believes it will be "damaging" for the club if he departs after the investment made into developing him since he joined from Southampton in 2011.
"I personally think it is vital that Chamberlain stays at Arsenal. We bought him when he was very young, we have built him up and I think he has a great mentality," Wenger said, as quoted by Arsenal's official site.
"I like his mentality and he has a good football brain. It would be a big damage for us to lose this kind of player."
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