Arsenal have finally announced a new two-year-deal for manager Arsene Wenger.
- Wenger set to stay at the club until 2019
- Announcement comes just days after FA Cup final
The new contract will see Arsene Wenger stay at the Emirates until 2019, extending his tenure to a remarkable 23 years, according to the club’s official website.
Announcing the news, majority owner Stan Kroenke said: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe. It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect and we won’t rest until that is achieved.
“Arsène is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”
It’s long been suspected the long-serving manager would extend his deal, but like in 2014, Arsenal waited until the very last minute to announce it. Even Wenger admitted the uncertainly surrounding his future had an adverse effect on results this season.
The 67-year-old will remain at the helm despite missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time in two decades. Arsenal endured a poor league campaign by their standards, but ended 2016/17 on an immense high after defeating Chelsea in the FA Cup final.
Arsène Wenger said following the news: “I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement. We are looking at what we do well and how we can be stronger everywhere.
“This is a strong group of players and with some additions we can be even more successful. We’re committed to mounting a sustained league challenge and that will be our focus this summer and next season.”
Going from Premier League title contenders to finishing the season in fifth place, coupled with a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich in the last-16 of the Champions League has arguably been the lowest point of Wenger’s career at Arsenal, however.
Reports emerged that sections of the Arsenal board were not happy about the situation and were looking at restructuring the club behind the scenes. The likes Massimiliano Allegri, Thomas Tuchel, and Leonardo Jardim were touted as potential successors.
A minority of supporters also staged protests during Arsenal’s poor run of form. It was the most vocal show of dissent from the fans to date. Wenger, who has recently become the most successful manager in the FA Cup with seven wins, has received a lot of vitriol for the club’s ongoing failure in the title race and Europe.
But he’ll stay at the club to battle on all four fronts next season, while being tasked with securing the club’s future with a youthful transfer policy.
Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis said: “There is no complacency anywhere at this club. Our goal is to compete for and win trophies here and in Europe.
“Everything we do is designed to make that happen and we will be working hard on and off the pitch this summer to improve and make a strong challenge next season.
“The club has grown beyond recognition in every aspect in recent years and we have the platform to be successful and meet the ambitions we and our fans share.”