English Premiership

Bertrand extends Saints contract

2016-07-12 18:12
Ryan Bertrand (Supplied)
Ryan Bertrand (Supplied)

Southampton, - England left-back Ryan Bertrand became the latest player to commit himself to Premier League side Southampton by signing a five-year contract on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old joins goalkeeper Fraser Forster, Dutch central defender Virgil van Dijk, England Under-21 skipper James Ward-Prowse and Northern Irish veteran Steven Davis in signing new contracts at St Mary's.

Securing Bertrand's signature will be a boost to the club as they have become accustomed to losing star players after a successful season -- Kenyan midfield enforcer Victor Wanyama, Italian striker Graziano Pelle and Senegalese forward Sadio Mane all departing as well as manager Ronald Koeman this close season.

"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," Bertrand told the club website.

"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," added Bertrand, who joined from Chelsea in 2014.

Les Reed, Southampton's executive director of football, said Bertrand's agreement to a new contract was a vote of confidence in the direction the club was taking, now under the stewardship of Frenchman Claude Puel, regardless of the departure of Koeman and two years ago Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino.

"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," said Reed.

"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."

Saints, who finished a best ever sixth in the Premier League last term, have signed Nathan Redmond from relegated Norwich and on Monday highly-rated Danish international Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Bayern Munich as they prepare for not only the Premier League campaign but also the Europa League.

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