London: England international James Ward-Prowse, who played every minute of last season’s Premier League campaign, signed a new five-year contract with Southampton on Monday.
The 25-year-old midfielder and former England Under-21 captain has been with the Saints since he was eight.
Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was so impressed last season that he gave Ward-Prowse the captain’s armband in the latter stages.
“I have said before that Prowsey is a player who shows everything that Southampton Football Club is about,” Hasenhuttl said in a club statement.
“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,” said Hasenhuttl.
“I know he is a role model for our younger players especially.
“These are all reasons why he was the right choice to be a long-term captain of this team and this club.”
Southampton finished 11th in the Premier League, rebounding after a 9-0 loss to Leicester in October.
Ward-Prowse, who has scored 24 goals in his 278 appearances since making his debut in 2011, said Southampton had a special place in his heart.
“The people within it (the club) and the infrastructure has allowed me to follow my dream as a young boy who wanted to play professional football,” he said.
“They’ve given me every opportunity and every helping hand along the way to reach that target and for me again it’s another opportunity to repay that faith to everybody who’s played a part in my journey up until now.”