'These players want to stay together'

Olivier Giroud, Laurent Koscielny and Francis Coquelin have signed new contracts - and Arsene Wenger hopes that will encourage others to follow suit.

“Generally I would say yes [it encourages more players to sign], because the squad has a great spirit and I believe as well that the players will want to stay together,” said the boss.

“It’s important that we have a stability in our squad and they are part of that. We are of course in the process of negotiating with other players, as you know well. We want to keep a good stability and that is what is needed at the end of every season.”

Giroud has been in a rich vein of form, scoring 10 goals in his last eight starts. The France striker started the season on the periphery but is the main man right now.

“He has accepted the challenge not to be automatically selected and responded in the right way,” said Wenger. “When you face the situation he faced, either you feel sorry for yourself or you say, ‘I have a challenge I have to take on and work even harder’. That’s what he did.

“He benefits from the fact he has worked very hard and as well from the fact he is fresh at the moment where some other players have already played many games and sometimes need a little breather.

“He has very interesting qualities that can give you variety in your offensive game. We are a team who prefers to play on the ground, then when we don’t pass on the ground we can go as well in the air and he can still help us there.”


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