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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Sep, 2, 2009

Denilson and Bendtner sign long term deals

Arsenal have continued to put their faith in youth by handing 21-year-olds Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson new long-term deals.

The Gunners - who added only Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen to the squad over the summer, but sold Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor to Manchester City - have impressed during the opening games of the new campaign, the only loss a narrow 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford.

Manager Arsene Wenger has long championed the potential of his young side, and today's announcement follows agreements to secure the long-term future of Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie as well as fellow youngsters Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs.

Following the departure of Adebayor, Bendtner has looked to cement himself in Wenger's attacking plans.

''Nicklas has impressed me highly with his application and determination over the last season, you can see that he wants to compete at the highest level and win things with his team-mates,'' Wenger told the club's website. ''He scored a number of important goals for us last season and he will look to replicate that again this year.

''However, it's not just about the goals, his all round contribution has improved and will continue to do so. I am very pleased that he will be part of the team for years to come.''

Bendtner chalked up some 50 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring 15 goals. The frontman is determined to continue his progression.

''It means a lot that I can commit my future to Arsenal because I have a great affection for this club,'' he said. ''I've been here for five years now, and my development both on and off the pitch as a player and person is thanks to Arsene Wenger and the team here.

''We've got a group of players that is capable of achieving great success, and I am really excited to be a part of it.''

Denilson, meanwhile, has emerged as a regular defensive partner for Arsenal captain and playmaker Cesc Fabregas.

The Brazilian, who arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Sao Paulo in August 2006, scored a superb strike during the Gunners' opening day 6-1 romp at Everton.

Having made more starts than any other player last season - 49 in total - Wenger feels Denilson is coming of age.

''Denilson's contribution to the club last season was outstanding,'' he said. ''His work rate really was exceptional and it is valuable to have players that we know will perform to the very last minute in such a demanding league.''

Denilson believes this young Arsenal squad has a bright future.

''We have a hugely talented group of players here, and I am convinced that with everyone working together we'll be able to achieve great things,'' he said. ''It is a special time to be part of this club and I'm delighted to have signed a new long-term deal.''

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