Wilshere has 'huge potential' says Wenger

Arsene Wenger is in no doubt Jack Wilshere has "huge potential" after the young midfielder committed his long-term future to Arsenal.

Earlier this week Wales international Aaron Ramsey, 18, agreed a contract extension, while the Gunners also handed professional contracts to four members of their successful FA Youth Cup team.

Wilshere signed pro forms when he turned 17 on New Year's Day having already become the youngest Arsenal player to represent the club in both the league and European competition, making his first-team breakthrough last season.

Hertfordshire-born Wilshere has been at the club since he was just nine, and Wenger firmly believes the midfielder - an integral member of the FA Youth Cup-winning side - is set for a bright future at Emirates Stadium.

"Jack made great progress last season, playing at Under-18s, reserves and first-team level, and we all witnessed what a great young talent he is," said the Gunners boss.

Wenger added on www.arsenal.com: "At still 17 years of age, the potential is huge for Jack and we are all delighted he has committed his long-term future to Arsenal."

Ramsey, meanwhile, has no intention of resting on his laurels after making 22 appearances last season following a move from Cardiff.

The Wales midfielder, who could have opted for Everton or Manchester United instead of the Gunners last summer, hopes to follow in the footsteps of fellow youngster Theo Walcott, now established in both the Arsenal first team and full England squad.

"Theo and I both came from Championship clubs to join Arsenal and I think my first year has been quite similar to Theo's first year at Arsenal," said Ramsey.

"Then in the second year he played a lot more games and got more experience under his belt, so hopefully I can take the same path.

"We have talked about it before, I have asked him how he found it when he was in my position."

Ramsey added: "Now I want to be more regular in the starting XI, get a lot more games under my belt and hopefully start more games as well. They are my targets."

Wenger's only signing so far has been Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen and the Frenchman looks set to continue his pursuit of a holding midfielder.

Robin van Persie, last season's top scorer, is expected to agree terms on a new deal shortly, but the future of Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor is yet to be resolved one way or another - with AC Milan continuing their interest.

The Arsenal board have, meanwhile, been digesting a proposal from major shareholder Alisher Usmanov over the possibility of a new £100million rights issue to help off-set some of the club's long-term debts.

A club statement read: "The board fully discussed the rights issue proposal with its advisors and will be communicating its decision to the club's major shareholders prior to making any public statements."

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick