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Djourou’s new deal, Carling Cup is up – more young guns

Arsenal defender Johan Djourou has signed a new long-term contract with the club believed to be an extension till 2012.

The Switzerland international joined the Gunners from Etoile Carouge in 2003 and has racked up over 50 appearances.

He enjoyed a loan spell at Birmingham last season before returning to Emirates Stadium to challenge for a place in Arsene Wenger’s team.

Initially a defensive midfield player, Djourou has largely plied his trade at centre-back for Arsenal.

He has played four times this season and came off the bench on Saturday as Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 victory at Bolton.

Djourou will be taking the duty of one of Wenger’s “veteran guns” on Tuesday when Arsenal play Sheffield United in the Carling Cup.

With youngsters like Wilshere and Randall poised to make starts in a typically
youthful side, the boss has explained the reason behind his faith in them and gave hints on his selection for tomorrow night.

“I believe it is very interesting to see a new generation come through, which is a little bit helped by having more experienced players around them, even though they are also young.

“It is always an adventure of a young group together and they can give you a bit of a view of how life at Arsenal could be in three or five years’ time.”

Wenger, who has not seen his side win a trophy in three years, has also revealed that he could name one of the youngest sides in Arsenal’s history, with Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas also ready to feature.

“There is a possibility (it will be the youngest side ever),” added Wenger. “In the first-team there are many players around 20.

“In the Carling Cup we will keep a few in there, but the side will be more between 16 and 19. At Arsenal you can say 20 and 21-year-olds are the experienced players.

“But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, so it will be a very young side.”

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