Eboue commits future to Gunners
Emmanuel Eboue is the latest Gunner to commit his long term future to the club after signing a new deal this week. The Ivorian defender put pen to paper on an improved contract shortly after Arsenal wrapped up their season with a goalless
By Jem Maidment
Emmanuel Eboue is the latest Gunner to commit his long term future to the club after signing a new deal this week.
The Ivorian defender put pen to paper on an improved contract shortly after Arsenal wrapped up their season with a goalless draw at Portsmouth on Sunday.
Fellow countryman Kolo Toure, 25, also committed his best years to the club earlier this season when he signed a six-year contract.
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Eboue, who has mainly featured at right-back, although he started in midfield at Fratton Park, began his Arsenal career in January 2005 after joining for £1.5m from Belgian feeder club Beveren.
The 23-year-old quickly made an impact when he was drafted in to cover for the injured Cameroon international Lauren.
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Eboue's whole-hearted performances saw him become a firm fans' favourite and he quickly took over as Arsene Wenger's first-choice right back. He has made a total of 71 first-team appearances for the Gunners.
It follows on from the £2m capture of Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from Leiga Warsaw. The little-known custodian is highly rated in his homeland but Wenger was keen not to add extra pressure on him by saying he does not expect him to challenge Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia immediately for the No 1 jersey. "He is one for the future," explained Wenger.
"We have identified him as having all the qualities to challenge here and be one of the future great goalkeepers for Arsenal.
"We will assess him when he joins the squad [in July] to see how mature he is."
Meanwhile, Arsenal's promising Under-18s suffered their second semi-final defeat of the season when they were edged out 3-2 by Leicester in the Premier League play-offs on Tuesday at Shenley.
Kieran Gibbs and Jay Simpson netted for Arsenal but it was not enough as the Foxes, and not Arsenal, progressed to the final where they will meet Sunderland.
Steve Bould's young Gunners were beaten 4-3 on aggregate by Man Utd in the FA Youth Cup semi-final last month.