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Maitland-Niles signs new long-term Arsenal deal

Maitland-Niles impressed for Arsenal last term, particularly in the Europa League Credit: PA

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was one of the first names on the lips of new Arsenal head coach Unai Emery - and now the Gunners midfielder is likely to be working under the Spaniard for some time after signing a new long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis led the panel that ultimately decided Emery was the correct man to replace the departing Arsene Wenger.

With Emery now at the helm, England Under-21 international Maitland-Niles has been handed a new long-term contract.

The promising 20-year-old is a product of the club's academy and enjoyed a breakthrough season at during the last campaign - making a total of 28 first-team appearances.

Part of the England Under-20s team to win the World Cup in South Korea last summer, signing a new deal at Arsenal is the culmination of a big year for Maitland-Niles, who was delighted to hear that his new manager already knew plenty about his abilities.

"You don't really hear a lot of young players being shouted out by their managers, especially a new manager who hasn't really seen them play too much," he told Arsenal Player following the announcement of his new contract.

"I think it's brilliant to hear from him and it gives me a load of confidence. It feels fantastic knowing that I'm going to be a part of the squad, and a big part of the squad.

"It means a lot with the new head coach coming in and Arsenal tying me down. I'm very pleased.

"We had a little meeting. He said that he wants all of his players to work hard and I'm no stranger to doing that. It will be second nature to me."

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Pires hopes to join Emery's Arsenal coaching staff

Pires would like to join Arsenal. Credit: PA

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires believes he would be a good fit in new boss Unai Emery's backroom team.

Pires, 44, spent six years with the Gunners before leaving for Villarreal in 2006 and has maintained a close connection with the club.

The Frenchman, a World Cup winner in 1998, trains regularly with the first-team squad and feels he could help Emery launch a new era at the Emirates Stadium following Arsene Wenger's departure.

"If I join Unai Emery's staff, I think it should be good for me, and I hope it should be good for Unai Emery," Pires told ESPN FC at Arsenal's new Puma kit launch in London.

"I could be like a bridge between him and the players. Because I know the players. For two years I have trained with the guys. So all of them, they respect me.

"And I respect the players, I was an ex-player. So the relationship between the players and me is good. That's why I think I can help Unai Emery."

Cazorla to spend pre-season with former club Villarreal

Cazorla was a fan favourite at Villarreal before his move to Arsenal. Credit: PA

Santi Cazorla will spend pre-season with former club Villarreal in a bid to regain full fitness following his Achilles operation, the LaLiga outfit have announced.

The 33-year-old former Spain international is a free agent after leaving Arsenal at the end of last season.

Cazorla came up through the youth ranks at Villarreal and made 241 first-team appearances for the club before moving to Malaga in 2011, and then onto the Gunners a year later.

A Villarreal statement read: "Santi Cazorla returns home.

"The Asturian player will take part in pre-season with the Villarreal first team (July 9) with the objective of recovering from an Achilles tendon operation in his right leg, which he had last November 28."

Arsenal sign Juventus defender Lichtsteiner on a free

Lichtsteiner is out of contract after leaving Juventus. Credit: PA

Arsenal have announced the signing of experienced defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Juventus on a free transfer.

The 34-year-old was out of contract at the Serie A champions and joins the Gunners ahead of captaining Switzerland at the World Cup.

Lichsteiner moved to Juventus in 2011 and won seven successive league titles at the club.

He becomes the first signing since Unai Emery's appointment as head coach and will wear the number 12 shirt as he competes with the likes of Hector Bellerin for a place in the side.

More to follow.

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Ramsey excited to get started under Emery at Arsenal

Ramsey is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract at Arsenal. Credit: PA

Aaron Ramsey has suggested his future lies at Arsenal after hailing Unai Emery's arrival as an "exciting time" for the Premier League club.

The fact that Ramsey is set to enter the final 12 months of his contract has put question marks against his future at Arsenal.

Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with the Wales midfielder in the past.

But Ramsey, speaking after Wales' 0-0 draw against Mexico in California, gave his backing to Emery, the former Sevilla and Paris St Germain manager.

Asked if he was looking forward to working with Emery, Ramsey replied: "Of course.

"I haven't spoken to him at all yet, but I think it's an exciting time for the club.

"I can't wait to get back there now."

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