Arsene Wenger is in.
The Arsenal manager signed a new two-year contract Wednesday, the Premier League club announced on its website. Wenger’s contract news ends months of speculation over his future, with his Arsenal tenure likely to stretch to 23 years by the time his deal expires.
“I love this club, and I am looking forward to the future with optimism and excitement,” Wenger said in a club-issued statement. “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 (Kroenke, Arsenal’s majority owner) in doing everything we can to win more trophies. It’s what we all want and I know what our fans around the world demand.”
Wenger’s position is one of the most divisive topics in the Premier League, with large sections of Arsenal’s fan base calling for his departure. He led the Gunners to a fifth-place finish in 2016-17, its lowest position since 1996, and exited the UEFA Champions League in the round of 16. But Arsenal’s late-season revival and FA Cup triumph convinced Wenger and the board of directors that he can help the club achieve its goals.
“Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe,” Kroenke said in the club-issued statement. “It’s what the fans, players, staff, manager and board expect, and we won’t rest until that is achieved. Arsene is the best person to help us make that happen. He has a fantastic track record and has our full backing.”
Wenger, 67, demonstrated a magic touch early in his Arsenal tenure but has been less successful on the back end.
The next two-plus years likely will shape Wenger’s full legacy as Arsenal’s manager.
Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images
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