Arsenal have confirmed that Arsene Wenger will stay on as manager after signing a new two-year contract extension with the Gunners (via Arsenal.com).
The new deal will extend the Frenchman’s 21-year reign in north London and finally puts to an end the long, ongoing saga over his future.
790 – Arsene Wenger has taken charge of 790 Premier League games as a manager; only Sir Alex Ferguson has managed more (810). Longevity. pic.twitter.com/Q5Had8l2Wc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 31, 2017
Wenger’s contract was due to expire this summer but he has agreed to stay on after talks with Stan Kroenke and with the decision subsequently ratified at the club’s board meeting on Tuesday.
“Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe,” said majority shareholder Stan Kroenke in the club’s official confirmation. “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.”
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Wenger will now add to the 21 years he has spent as manager of the Gunners and spoke about the news as well.
“I love this club and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement,” Wenger said. “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.
“I am grateful to have the support of the board and Stan in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know it’s what our fans around the world demand.”
Speculation over the 67-year-old’s future has overshadowed the second half of the season which saw a slump in form that ultimately left the Gunners finishing fifth and missing out on Champions League qualification for the first time under Wenger.
However, Arsenal did manage to finish the season on a high, putting in a superb display in the FA Cup final to deservedly beat champions Chelsea 2-1 and lift the trophy for a record 13th time.
The win was also the seventh time Wenger has lifted the FA Cup as manager, another record, and a timely record of what a truly unique manager he is.
Chief Executive also spoke in the release, claiming that “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.”
Wenger will now be aiming to build on the FA Cup win and add further silverware to his huge tally in the next two seasons as he continues in the Arsenal hotseat.
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