Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse has put pen to paper on a new contract to tie himself to the Saints until 2025.
The 25-year-old, whose previous deal had two years left to run, played every minute of Southampton's Premier League campaign this year and inherited the captain's armband from Pierre-Emile Højbjerg after the Dane admitted his desire to leave the club towards the end of the campaign.
With his importance to the squad only growing, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl was eager to secure Ward-Prowse's long-term future to ensure he stays to help the club continue to move in the right direction.
“I think everybody knows it's a club that's very close to my heart," he told the club's official website. “I started out here as an eight-year-old and just had that goal of wanting to reach the first-team, and my appreciation for the club is so big, because the people within it and the infrastructure has allowed me to follow my dream as a young boy who wanted to play professional football.
"I really feel that it's an exciting period for us. I think we've regained our identity as a team and I think we're heading in the right direction towards where we believe we can go as a club. We've certainly got the infrastructure and the people around here to make that happen, and it's up to us now to go and work hard in these next few weeks and ensure that we start the season the way that we finished the last one.”
An academy graduate, Ward-Prowse has racked up 278 appearances for the Saints in all competitions, chipping in with 24 goals and 33 assists.
“I have said before that Prowsey is a player who shows everything that Southampton Football Club is about," Hasenhüttl added.
“It is not only his story of being developed as a player here, but also the commitment and attitude he shows in his work. He was not playing so much when I arrived, but he has listened and worked on every aspect of his game, and that is why he has reached the level he is now at.
“He has a passion for the club that everybody knows about, and he is respected by everyone here. I know he is a role model for our younger players especially, and these are all reasons why he was the right choice to be a long-term captain of this team and this club.
“He deserves congratulations for this contract and this is very good news for our team and our club.”
Source : 90min