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Sep, 14, 2012

Morrison signs new Baggies deal

West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke believes the securing of James Morrison's services is a "big coup" after the player signed an improved four-year contract with the club.

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Clarke has been impressed with Morrison, 26, since becoming manager of the club and has moved swiftly to secure his services until 2016.

The Scotland international, who moved to the Hawthorns in 2007, is the club's longest serving player and has become a key figure since the club's return to the Premier League.

Clarke has been busy during the transfer window, bringing in new players such as Romelu Lukaku to strengthen the squad, but believes keeping Morrison is some of the best business completed by the club this summer.

"After strengthening the squad during the transfer window, it's equally important to hold onto your best players and I'm delighted James has signed a new deal," Clarke said.

"The new contract is fair reward for James' hard work and efforts. He's been here a number of years now and has always been one of the key players. It's also a big coup for the club because I'm sure that if James was on the market, there'd be a few clubs interested in him."

Morrison still had a little less than two years of his existing contract to run, but Clarke believes players should be rewarded for their impact.

"This is a good message to send to the rest of the squad, that if you do well and keep improving you will be rewarded," he said.

Sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth, who has been linked with a move to the Football Association, added: "I'm delighted James has committed his future to the club for the next four years.

"He's been one of our most effective players in the Premier League over the last couple of seasons and fully deserves his improved deal. The fact we've got a player of James' calibre to sign a longer contract is a sign that the club is moving in the right direction."

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