Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs & Carl Jenkinson: What happened next for Arsenal's British core?
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 31/08/17 4:03pm
As Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kieran Gibbs leave, we look at what happened to Arsenal's 'British core'...
In December 2012, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson all signed new long-term contracts at Arsenal with Arsene Wenger keen on building a 'British core' at the club.
The Frenchman had assembled some of Britain's most highly-rated youngsters in his squad and insisted they were the future of the club with an image of Wilshere, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs and Jenkinson all signing new contracts becoming the symbol of a new era at the Emirates Stadium.
"I believe when you have a core of British players, it's always easier to keep them together," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.
"We are delighted that these five young players have all signed new long-term contracts. The plan is to build a team around a strong basis of young players in order to get them to develop their talent at the club."
And asked as recently as April this year if he wanted to preserve his British core, Wenger said: "Yes. We still have a group of young players but we have to keep them all. We have Ramsey, Chamberlain, Wilshere, Gibbs. All these players, we have to make decisions and manage to keep them together."
But as Oxlade-Chamberlain moves to Liverpool, Gibbs leaves for West Brom and Wilshere is also linked with a departure, we take a look at what happened next after they signed those contracts...
Gibbs - a product of Arsenal's youth academy - made his senior debut for the club during the 2007/08 season.
He became Arsenal's first choice left-back for the start of the 2011/12 season following the departure of Gael Clichy to Manchester City. But two years later and the 27-year-old, who has 10 England caps to his name, lost his first-team place after the arrival of Nacho Monreal from Malaga and he's been on the periphery of the first-team ever since.
With the arrival of Sead Kalasinac providing more competition at left-back, Gibbs has now joined West Brom in a £7m deal.
Seen as the bright young midfield hope for both Arsenal and England, the 25-year-old shot to prominence during the 2010/11 season. His performance in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Barcelona at the Emirates in the last 16 of the Champions League only added to the hype but injuries have blighted his career to date.
He was loaned out to Bournemouth last season in an attempt to help him regain his fitness but another injury curtailed his time on the south coast.
He is now back at Arsenal, but with his contract at the club set to expire at the end of next season, what does the future hold for the England star?
Wilshere is yet to feature in one of Arsenal's matchday squads this season, and he has already been linked with a move to Italian side Sampdoria, who made a bid £6m plus £1.5m in add-ons earlier in the summer.
A regular feature at Arsenal since he was 17 until his sale to Liverpool on deadline day, Oxlade-Chamberlain failed to fulfil his potential at the Emirates Stadium.
The debate rages on about the England international's best position but his best form for Arsenal is fresh in the memory, coinciding with a drastic change in system. It came when Arsene Wenger reverted to a back three, yielding some impressive performances at right-wing-back towards the end of last season as the Gunners made a late surge for the top four and won the FA Cup.
However, the 23-year-old, who was only contracted with Arsenal until next summer, started only 16 Premier League games over the course of last season, and his determination to earn a regular starting spot in central midfield has played a part in his move away.
It now remains to be seen whether he will step up his development at Anfield, after his £40m move to Liverpool.
Ramsey moved from Cardiff to Arsenal in 2008 for £5m but his career stalled after suffering a horrific leg break against Stoke just over two years later.
After two loan spells away from the club, he returned to the Emirates and became a key player, scoring 16 goals in all competitions during the 2013/14 season, including the winner in the FA Cup final.
Injuries have since disrupted his career but he once again showed his potential with a number of impressive displays in helping Wales reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
The Welshman, who was named in the Euro 2016 team of the tournament, remains a key figure at the heart of Wenger's midfield with reports suggesting the Frenchman is keen to extend the 26-year-old's contract, which is set to run out in 2019.
Jenkinson joined the Gunners from Charlton in 2011 but has become a bit of a forgotten man at the club after spending the last two seasons out on loan at West Ham.
The 25-year-old was thrust straight into the first team spotlight following his move from The Valley, featuring in the infamous 8-2 defeat at Manchester United in the early part of 2011/12 season.
He recovered to put in some promising displays for Arsenal over the next couple of seasons and was rewarded with an England call-up, featuring as a substitute in the Three Lions' 4-2 defeat by Sweden.
However, with the emergence of Hector Bellerin in recent season sending him down the pecking order, Jenkinson has agreed to spend the season on loan at Championship side Birmingham City.