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James Ward-Prowse: Southampton captain signs new five-year contract

Ward-Prowse replaced Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg as captain last season

james ward prowse
Image: James Ward-Prowse has been a Southampton player since the age of eight

Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year contract with the club.

Ward-Prowse, who has been at St Mary's since joining the club as an eight-year-old, played in every minute of Southampton's 2019/20 Premier League campaign.

He helped the club to an 11th-placed finish after taking over the captaincy towards the end of the season from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has since joined Tottenham.

After signing his new deal, Ward-Prowse said: "I think everybody knows it's a club that's very close to my heart. I started out here as an eight-year-old and just had that goal of wanting to reach the first team.

"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.

Image: Ward-Prowse replaced Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg after his fellow midfielder told the club he wanted to leave

"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."

Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was full of praise for Ward-Prowse, who is a former England U21 captain and has played twice for the senior side.

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The manager said: "I have said before that 'Prowsey' is a player who shows everything that Southampton Football Club is about.

"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.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl
Image: Ralph Hasenhuttl played Ward-Prowse in every minute of Southampton's 2019/20 Premier League season

"He deserves congratulations for this contract and this is very good news for our team and our club."

Extending Ward-Prowse's deal is the latest piece of business conducted by Southampton in what is proving to be a busy summer.

As well as sanctioning the departure of Hojbjerg to Spurs, they have signed Kyle Walker-Peters from the north London club and bought Ghanaian centre-back Mohammed Salisu from Spanish side Real Valladolid.

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