Southampton secure James Ward-Prowse on five-year deal

James Ward-Prowse

Southampton teenager James Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year contract.

The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut on the opening day of the season in the 3-2 defeat at Manchester City and has been a regular starter since.

Ward-Prowse told the club website: "I'm absolutely delighted. It's nice to put pen to paper. I can kick on from here."

The midfielder is a graduate of Southampton's Academy which has also produced Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But by signing a new contract, he has ended speculation that he could follow his predecessors out of St Mary's.

Ward-Prowse, who was left out of the Saints' crucial victory over Queen's Park Rangers at the weekend, added: "It's been an absolute whirlwind to go from playing under-18 football against lower league teams to playing against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United.

"That's been my dream since I was a young kid, so to get to that stage is fantastic.

"My short-term aim now is to get back into the team. There's a lot of competition for places."