Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse made his intentions at the club clear by signing a new five-year contract which sees him through to 2025.
If he is to stay at St Mary’s for the entirety of his new contract, that would mean Ward-Prowse - a former Portsmouth season ticket holder - has spent over two decades as a Saint.
Ward-Prowse played every minute of a strange 2019-20 Premier League campaign and showed a new level of leadership before and after picking up the captain’s armband from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who now calls Tottenham home.
“It’s a club that’s very close to my heart,” Ward-Prowse said in a press statement. “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.”
Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl believes it’s contract well deserved for Ward-Prowse after shifting his game up a gear under the Austrian’s tutelage.
“He was not playing so much when I arrived, but he has listened and worked on every aspect of his game,” Hasenhuttl said. “That is why he has reached the level he is now at and he is respected by everyone here.”