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Nov 19, 2012

James Ward-Prowse signs new deal

Southampton rising star James Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year contract, the Barclays Premier League club announced Monday evening.

Ward-Prowse, 18, made his top-flight bow on the opening day of the season and has gone on to play 10 games so far this term.

His performances have led to claims that he could be the latest Southampton Academy product to be tempted away from Saint Mary's Stadium, but he put a stop to that speculation today when Saints announced the midfielder had signed a new deal.

Ward-Prowse grew up as a Portsmouth supporter, but joined Pompey's south coast rivals as an eight-year-old.

The midfielder impressed through the youth ranks at Saints and made his first-team debut a week before his 17th birthday last season.

Manager Nigel Adkins deemed the teenager ready for top-flight football at the start of the season, and he has been one of the few success stories at the struggling club so far this term.

Ward-Prowse, who played a key part in Southampton's win over QPR on Saturday, told the club's website: "I'm absolutely delighted."

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

Southampton's famed academy has been responsible for producing stars like Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent years.

Adkins was delighted to see Ward-Prowse commit his future to the club until 2017.

"He's a great lad in respect of being a role model for the younger players, and he works very hard at his game every single day," he said.

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