Arsene Wenger waxed lyrical about his Czech midfield maestro Tomas Rosicky in this morning's press conference, as he confirmed the 33-year-old will stay at the club beyond the summer, when his current contract expires.
Rosicky has been one of the quietly efficient members of Arsenal's rise to the Premier League summit and was at the forefront of the Gunners' comprehensive FA Cup success over Tottenham last weekend.
The Czech Republic international robbed Danny Rose before running the entirety of the Spurs half and then having the presence of mind to loft the ball over Hugo Lloris to hand his side the derby day spoils and reinforce his status as the Gunners' go-to guy in such crucial games.
It was Rosicky's second strike in three north London derbies at the Emirates and after his latest virtuoso display, Wenger has revealed the evergreen midfield technician will be staying put.
“Tomas Rosicky will stay here at the end of the season," the Frenchman told reporters. "He is a marvellous player and contributes well to the team,” said the Arsenal boss.
“He is certainly a typical Arsenal player in the way that he is mobile, technically sound and team orientates, so he is a fantastic football player.”
Wenger's assessment of Rosicky is in keeping with the midfielder's series of consistent displays this term, where he has often been ushered into wide areas to accommodate the introduction of Mesut Özil to the club.
The former Borussia Dortmund schemer has never been overly prolific during his seven-and-a-half year stay in England, as this season's single assist and goal apiece prove, but the unselfishness and teamwork he possesses are weapons which have been key in Arsenal's new steely edge.
Still holding all the creative qualities in midfield which has seen them decorate the top flight for years, the Gunners' title challenge has been equally built on the sort of win they mustered at Newcastle recently, as it has on the 2-0 win over Liverpool which began to underline their title credentials.
Rosicky was a key figure in both victories, providing both an attacking force and a defensive one. His work-rate and determination for one of the club's carousel of midfield artists mark him out as a fans favourite and one who could go down as something of a transformative figure in this side, if they do - indeed - go on to end their nine-year wait for silverware.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald