Dundee United's Gary Mackay-Steven extends contract until 2015

Dundee United winger Gary Mackay-Steven

Mackay-Steven has been an important part of the United team this season

Gary Mackay-Steven has welcomed a contract extension tying him to Dundee United until the summer of 2015.

The 21-year-old winger joined the Tangerines in the summer from Airdrie United  and has scored three times in 18 appearances so far this season.

"I see Tannadice as the ideal place to do that right now," said Mackay Steven.

And manager Peter Houston added: "I have no doubt that, if he continues to progress, he will have a massive future in the game."

Having started started his career at Ross County, Mackay-Steven spent two years with Liverpool's youth teams and then trained with Fulham before eventually joining Airdrie.

He made 21 appearances in the second half of last season for the Second Division side, scoring twice.

"Gary was brought to the club in the summer to see if he could develop the obvious ability he had as a young kid at Liverpool," said Houston.

I am delighted with my recent form but I also know that I have plenty to learn in the game, yet

Gary Mackay-Steven Dundee United midfielder

"Ever since we got him match fit, he has progressed gradually each game and he is now very much part of our first-team squad.

"He is someone who excites the fans when he has possession of the ball.

"His commitment in wanting to ply his trade here at Dundee United was obvious from the start, although he still has a lot to learn in the game.

"It was important that we honoured the commitment Gary showed in coming to Tannadice and it is a great delight to have secured him for at least a further three-and-a-half years."

Mackay-Steven feels Tannadice is a good environment in which to develop.

"I'm delighted to commit to an extended contract at Dundee United," he added.

"It is such a good club to come to as a youngster and, right from the start, I felt so welcomed by the players and staff.

"I am delighted with my recent form, but I also know that I have plenty to learn in the game yet."