Walcott, Cazorla pledge loyalties

LONDON • Arsenal received a double boost yesterday after the club announced that Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla have both agreed contract extensions with the Gunners.

England forward Walcott, 26, announced on Twitter that he had signed a four-year contract.

The length of Spanish midfielder Cazorla's deal was not disclosed but it is believed that he will stay at the Emirates until 2017.

"We're delighted to have extended the contracts of Santi and Theo," manager Arsene Wenger told the club's website.

"Both are top-quality players who are hugely important and influential to our squad. As well as their huge contributions on the pitch, they both have a great deal of experience and are very popular off the pitch. We're very pleased with them both signing contract extensions, as it provides our squad with further stability of quality."

Walcott tweeted a picture of himself wearing Arsenal's home kit and standing beside the Emirates Stadium pitch, accompanied by the caption: "This is my home!

"Happy to have signed a new 4 year deal."

Neither Walcott nor Arsenal revealed financial details of his contract. However, British press reports estimated that it is worth around £140,000 (S$300,000) a week, putting him on a par with the club's top earners.

Walcott missed the early part of last season owing to a knee injury suffered in January 2014, making his first appearance in November and his first start only this January.

But he finished the campaign strongly, netting a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion on the Premier League season's final day and scoring in Arsenal's 4-0 win over Aston Villa in the FA Cup final.

Having signed from Southampton in 2006, Walcott is Arsenal's longest-serving current player.

He has made over 300 appearances for the club, scoring 76 goals.

Cazorla, 30, enjoyed a fine 2014-15 season and was Arsenal's most-used player with 53 appearances.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2015, with the headline 'Walcott, Cazorla pledge loyalties'. Print Edition | Subscribe