James Ward-Prowse joined Fraser Forster in signing a new contract with Southampton today.
The England Under-21 international signed a new six year contract at the club after progressing through the club's famed academy and into the first team. The midfielder said that it was a "no brainer" to extend his stay at the club that has made him the player that he is.
He told Southampton's YouTube channel: "When I knew I had the chance to extend my stay here, it was a no brainer for me to be able to extend the stay at a club which I love.
"I’m very thankful to everyone who has got me to where I am today. For me, I want to repay the faith to the club to putting their time and effort into making me the player I am today."
Ward-Prowse praised the club for getting two key players, Virgil van Dijk and Fraser Forster, to also sign new long term contracts. The 21-year-old said that the recent contract extensions shows that the club "mean business".
"It’s a great sign for the club. It’s great to see two top players pledge their future to the club. Virgil has been the player of the season this year. I think that’s a real sign to everyone in the world that Southampton mean business.
"The same with Fraser. He’s come back and given us that solidarity at the back. That’s given us the chance to go on and get clean sheets and go on the run that we did. I think they’ve played a big part in why we are where we are today.
"Moving forward, I think that’s a real good sign and that will attract the top players."
Ward-Prowse has been pleased with his development this season but has been disappointed not to have played more. The academy graduate believes that the competition in midfield is crucial for Saints to reach the next level.
"I’ve been pleased with what I've done this season. All the midfielders are playing at a high level and it’s very difficult to get in the team. It’s a healthy competition and I think that’s what we need to get to the next level.
"It’s up to me to work hard again and improve on all aspects of my game. I want to be the best player I can be for the club and hopefully in this time frame, I can achieve that."
He also praised the club's progression from aiming for Premier League survival to fighting for Europe.
"We’ve improved year on year. That’s a big thing for a club that only recently got promoted to stay in the league and then improve year on year. It shows how quickly the club has grown in a short amount of time. I think it’s an exciting journey we’re on and it’s going to continue."