June 12, 2009

LONDON (AP) -- Arsenal's backup goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski signed a new long-term contract with the club Friday.

The 24-year-old Poland international joined the Gunners in 2007 from Legia Warsaw. He made 18 appearances last season and had nine clean sheets as a deputy to first-choice keeper Manuel Almunia.

"I'm very happy to sign my new contract with Arsenal, it's a big motivation for me to keep working hard and shows that the club believes in me," Fabianski said. "I'll be doing everything I can to repay that belief by helping Arsenal to win trophies in the coming years."

Arsenal has not won a trophy since lifting the FA Cup in 2005. The competition was Arsenal's best chance for silverware toward the end of last season, but a poor performance by Fabianski in the FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in April contributed to a 2-1 loss.

But manager Arsene Wenger is confident that Fabianski will evolve into a top goalkeeper.

"I rate Lukasz highly and I am very pleased that he has committed his future to the club," Wenger said. "I believe he is a top competitor, he's intelligent and reads the game very well and has all the ingredients to be successful in his position."

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