Southampton have agreed a new five-year contract with England defender Ryan Bertrand.
The left-back has played a pivotal role for the Saints since he joined from Chelsea in 2014 and has now committed his future at St Mary’s until 2021.
Bertrand, who was named in the 2014/15 Premier League PFA Team of the Year and has made 73 Saints appearances, joins Virgil van Dijk, Fraser Forster, James Ward-Prowse and Steven Davis in agreeing fresh deals as the South Coast club look to stabilise following the departure of manager Ronald Koeman.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Bertrand said: “I’m very pleased. It’s been a fantastic move for me since the day I came to this club and I look forward to many more successful years and really pushing forward.
“I’ve enjoyed my football here. I’ve really enjoyed the club, and the fans have been fantastic with me personally as well, so I couldn’t think of any better place to play football and to keep on developing.
“The club is always thinking forward and I really want to be a part of that, and I am sure we can go on to achieve even better things.”
New boss Claude Puel has moved quickly to strengthen his squad this summer, with the departures of Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama and Graziano Pelle being offset by the arrivals of Nathan Redmond from Norwich and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich.
And executive Director of Football Les Reed said Bertrand’s deal is just as encouraging as the club’s recent new signings.
He said: “Signing new players is always exciting and we are delighted with our two summer signings so far, Nathan Redmond and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, who will bring special attributes and strength to our squad. I am equally excited by the commitment shown by our existing stars and those who signed long-term deals last year, thus strengthening the core of the squad.
“Ryan Bertrand has been an integral part of our success since joining in 2014 and has developed as a top Premier League and international player, but he also brings great leadership qualities to the club both on and off the pitch and is a real winner.
“Signing our key players for the long-term is an indication that the squad believes there is more to come and they want to be part of the journey. I know Ryan really believes this, and with him as part of the driving force behind our team I am confident our future is bright.
“Our young players will have an opportunity under our new manager, Claude Puel, but they will also need, and benefit from, the guidance and mentoring from players like Ryan.”