Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce its captain, James Ward-Prowse, has reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the club by signing a new five-year contract.

The 26-year-old midfielder today put pen-to-paper on the deal, which strengthens an allegiance to Saints that stretches all the way back to when he was eight.

It was then that Ward-Prowse joined the Academy and began a journey that would see him progress through the youth ranks, making his first-team debut at 16 and ultimately going on to captain the senior side.

He has already made 323 first-team appearances for Southampton, becoming only the 28th player in club history, and the 19th of the post-war era, to surpass 300, while he has also contributed 33 goals, 14 of which came across the past two campaigns.

Ward-Prowse, who has developed into a senior England international during his time with Saints having previously been skipper of the country’s Under-21 side, earlier this year became the first midfielder in Premier League history to complete successive seasons without missing a minute of action.

Ahead of Sunday’s opening home game of the 2021/22 campaign, he has once again pledged his long-term future to the club and is now set to take his association with Southampton well beyond the 20-year mark.

James Ward-Prowse said: “I’m over the moon. I think I’m probably the happiest man in the world right now. To come to this decision, I think has been massive and is a big step forward.

“To commit my future again to this football club is something I’m incredibly proud of and a new chapter begins now for me.

“It’s probably the first time in my career that I’ve had that link away and that talk, but I think I was very keen to sit down and talk to the club and it’s worked both ways; they’ve sat down and told me their admiration for me and the way they want me to lead the team – and this club has done so much for me, I can’t put into the words the opportunities and chances that they’ve given me and I’m incredibly grateful for the club for doing that.

“I’m not finished yet here, I still have a lot left to give to this football club and I want to be there leading this team and ensuring I can give everything back and repay that faith the club have shown in me since I was eight-years-old.”