Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Jack Wilshere has signed a new long-term contract with the Club.

Wilshere (17), who signed professional terms with the Gunners in January, enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2008/09, making eight first-team appearances and scoring one goal.

He rewrote the Arsenal history books on his full first-team debut, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute at Blackburn on September 30, 2008 to become the youngest ever player to represent Arsenal in the League. Jack was just 16 years and 256 days old at the time.

Ten days later Jack made his first full competitive start for the Club in the Carling Cup Third-Round victory over Sheffield United, capping off a fine performance with his debut goal for the first team in a 6-0 win.

Jack, who comes from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, made further history for Arsenal when he came off the bench in the 76th minute of the UEFA Champions League home match against Dynamo Kyiv on November 25, 2008. At 16 years 329 days, he become the youngest ever player to represent Arsenal in European competition.

When he wasn't making headlines for the first team, Jack was contributing to a hugely successful season for Arsenal's Under-18s. He was an integral part of the Youth Cup-winning side, playing in seven of the eight games for Steve Bould's team and scoring twice.

Jack was also a regular for Neil Banfield's Reserve team and impressed in a number of positions, operating across the midfield or in a more advanced role behind the main striker. His record for the second string mirrored his Youth Cup record with two goals in seven appearances. At Arsenal since he was nine years old, left-footed Jack is one of the Club's most exciting young prospects.

Arsène Wenger said: “It’s such great news that Jack has signed a new long-term contract. 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. At still 17 years of age, the potential is huge for Jack and we’re all delighted that he has committed his long-term future to Arsenal Football Club.”

Everyone at Arsenal is looking forward to Jack’s continued contribution and development in the years to come.

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2 Jul 2009