HARLEY GETS NEW CONTRACT
By David Allen
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The 20-year-old has been given his chance by manager Gianluca Vialli in the absence of Graeme Le Saux (injury) and Celestine Babayaro (African Nations Cup) and has impressed so much that he has even been linked with a call-up to the England squad.
His current deal was due to run out this summer but he is now contracted until June 2003 and he is also thought to have been given a large increase in wages after the reports of recent weeks in which it was rumoured that he was on a small salary in comparison to the club`s top earners.
Assistant coach Graham Rix said: "We all know what Jon is capable of and in every game that he has started, he has been one of our best performers.
"He shows great commitment and team spirit and has a lot of youthful exuberence. Admittedly he is going to make mistakes but he is also going to learn from them. He`s a smashing kid and he has responded in a very positive way.
"It`s nice to see a home-grown player coming through and showing that we have some very good English players in this country and this club.
"He`s certainly got potential," Rix added. "But he will need to have played another 200 League games before anyone can say that he has actually arrived."
The news will come as a boost to Harley ahead of this Sunday`s FA Cup clash with Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.