Arsenal consolidate position as Walcott and Cazorla sign new contracts
After months of speculation, the Gunners, 9/2 with Coral to win the Premier League, have tied down Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla to new contracts. The former has signed on for another four years, agreeing a £140K per week deal and the 26-year-old is the longest serving player currently at the club.
Having returned from injury at the end of last season and hit blistering form almost immediately, the need to secure his services became even more urgent, while Cazorla, who was arguably the player-of-the-season from January onwards, had started to attract attention from Atletico Madrid so, he was also deemed a priority.
The 30-year-old Spanish midfielder has agreed a two-year extension to his current deal. Manager Arsene Wenger was understandably delighted to retain the services of two important players.
“Both are top-quality players who are hugely important and influential to our squad,” said Wenger. “As well as their huge contributions on the pitch, they both have a great deal of experience and are very popular off the pitch.”
Having snapped up goalkeeper Petr Cech earlier in the summer, these new deals could potentially conclude the club’s business in this transfer window, however, the Gunners have been linked with numerous targets in the market.
While a defensive midfielder and a striker are rumoured to be targets, Walcott contributed plenty of evidence on his return that he could potentially lead the line for the club next season. After scoring an equaliser at Old Trafford against Manchester United, a first half hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion, plus the opener in the FA Cup final win over Aston Villa, there is no reason why he can’t pick up where he left off last term.
Cazorla, meanwhile, formed a highly effective midfield tandem with breakthrough player Francis Coquelin; an unlikely partnership, though nonetheless one that worked in the second half of last season.