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Schalke tie U.S. youngster Weston McKennie to new five-year deal

American teenager Weston McKennie discusses his performance in his first start for Schalke, a loss to Bayern Munich.
Brian McBride examines Christian Pulisic's prospects for 2017-18 and provides insight on Schalke youngster Weston McKennie.

Weston McKennie has signed a new five-year deal at Schalke.

The U.S. youngster has impressed for the club during his first months with the senior squad.

Having made his Bundesliga debut in May, McKennie, 19, was promoted to Schalke's senior squad this summer. And the U.S. midfielder won his first start in the 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich earlier this month.

Schalke 04 have now tied the Texas-born McKennie to a new five-year deal, with sporting executive Christian Heidel convinced he "will develop into a key part of our first team," and the midfielder stating that he could imagine a one-club career.

"It was an easy decision for me," McKennie said on the club's official website. "I love the club and everything here: my teammates, the head coach and the fans. I'd love to stay here forever."

Weston McKennie, left, was promoted to Schalke's senior side this summer.

And sporting executive Heidel heaped praised on the youngster, who has so far made six competitive appearances for Schalke.

"Weston has shown in the past few months that he is more than capable of contributing significantly to the future of Schalke," Heidel stated.

"Thanks to his talent and his willingness to learn, Weston has made the rise from the U19s to the Bundesliga and it's been a success from the get go. We're very happy that Weston sees his long-term future to be at FC Schalke 04."

McKennie joined FC Schalke 04 from the FC Dallas Academy in 2016. The holding midfielder has represented the United States at Under 17, U19 and U20 level.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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