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By ESPN Staff

Rodwell puts pen to paper on new Everton deal

Highly-rated Everton youngster Jack Rodwell has signed a new five-year contract at Goodison Park.

The 17-year-old central defender, currently playing in midfield and who scored his first senior goal in last weekend's FA Cup fifth-round win over Aston Villa, is now committed to the club until 2014.

A product of the club's Academy, Rodwell has made 13 appearances this season including seven starts.

Manager David Moyes, who handed Rodwell his debut last season, told the club's website: "When we get good young players, we want to sign them up and keep them here. That's always the way that we have gone about it.

"Jack has got a long way to go and it wasn't ideal that we had to pitch him in at the start of the season - we threw him in at the deep end.

"He played well in those games at times but we took him away from it for a while to give him a break and let him see what it's all about.

"But when he came back in against Liverpool he looked really good and he made a big contribution against Aston Villa. The signs from him were positive.

"We will never speak too much about them [young players]. We would never build them up before it is time and certainly do not allow them to believe any hype.

"But Jack is a good kid, and he is like Dan [Gosling] in that he has got his feet on the ground. We will be keeping a close eye on both of them to make sure they develop as we want them to.''

Rooney and Everton's current home-grown midfielder, Leon Osman, were both kept under wraps at times by Moyes.

He said: "When we get good young players, we want to sign them up and keep them here.

"That is always the way that we have gone about it. Jack has got a long way to go and it was not ideal that we had to pitch him in at the start of the season, we threw him in at the deep end.

"He played well in those games but we took him away from it for a while to give him a break and let him see what it is all about.

"But when he came back in against Liverpool he looked really good and made a big contribution against Aston Villa. The signs from him were positive.''

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