Team Captain Adam Lallana has become the latest Southampton player to commit his long-term future to the Club having this evening signed a new deal until 2018.
Lallana has agreed a new five-year contract that will take him up to 12 years as a professional with the Club, having graduated from the Saints Academy in 2006.
The midfielder joins a core of players to have penned new deals having progressed with Southampton in recent months. He follows suit from Kelvin Davis, Rickie Lambert, Morgan Schneiderlin and Jason Puncheon, who have also been rewarded for their efforts in re-establishing Saints in the top-flight of English football.
In his first year in the Barclays Premier League, Adam – who turns 25 years of age in May – has enjoyed another successful campaign having been installed as Team Captain ahead of the season-opening game at Manchester City.
He struck his third top-flight goal in last weekend’s win over Reading, which moved him onto a career total of 50 strikes for the Club in just over 200 first-team appearances.
Lallana's new contract will therefore be music to the ears of Saints fans, who have enjoyed watching a home-grown player help the Club climb from League 1 to its current position of 11th in the Premier League.
After penning his new deal, Adam spoke of his happiness at committing his long-term future to Southampton and looked ahead to what awaits the Club over the coming years.
"I'm absolutely delighted," said Lallana. "To commit my future to the Club for the next five years is something I'm really happy about.
"I can't wait to work with the new management team and the lads to continue our progress in the Premier League. It was an easy decision for me with the direction the Club is going in.
"I've been at the Club since I was 12 and – being honest – I can only see my future lying with Southampton Football Club.
"If someone was to say that I'd end my career playing for Southampton in the Premier League then I'd snap your hand off for it.
"I am privileged and honoured to be given the opportunity to be here for the next five years. It's something I'm going to look to grab with both hands.
"I'm honoured to be playing for Southampton and captaining the Club at the present moment, and I just hope the next five years don't go as quickly as the previous five!
"I can't wait to get going and to continue playing for this club."
First Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino watched on as Lallana put pen-to-paper on his new contract, and expressed his happiness at seeing his player commit his future to Southampton.
"We are very pleased that Adam has signed a new five-year contract," he said.
"In everything that he does and everything that he says, we can tell he is at home here.
"He has been here a long time, so we are really happy that he is going to be here for the next five years.
"He is not only important because of how he plays, but also with his behaviour off the pitch and how he transmits to other players.
"Adam is a home-grown player so he bleeds the colours of this team," continued Pochettino.
"Even though he is still young, he is a great example to others. He is a really intelligent person so, with his talent and skill, we are really happy to have a player like him.
"I'd like to congratulate him on his new contract, and I am happy for all the supporters because this is a really good piece of news."
Adam made his debut for Southampton at the age of 18, starting in a Carling Cup game against Yeovil on Wednesday 23rd August 2006.
He made his first league appearance three days later, but had to wait until the following season for his next taste of competitive action.
That would come during a month-long loan spell with nearby League 1 side AFC Bournemouth, where he made four appearances in October 2007.
He played a couple of times as a substitute upon his return to his parent club, scoring his first professional goal in a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion in late April 2008.
He made 43 appearances in the following season as his stock began to rise, but the campaign would end in sadness as the Club found itself in financial difficulty and relegated to the third tier.
Since then, Adam’s pathway to success coincided with the Club’s rise back up the divisions.
Following the takeover of the Club led by Nicola Cortese, Lallana resisted any suggestion of turning his back on Southampton in the aftermath of relegation.
Instead, he played 56 games and scored 20 times as Saints capped the 2009-10 season by winning the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, with Lallana netting the second goal in a 4-1 win over Carlisle in the Wembley final.
The attacking midfielder was a focal point in the Club’s promotion out of League 1 in the following season, scoring 11 goals in 41 games to earn himself a place in the PFA Team of the Year.
Lallana's good form carried through into the 2011-12 campaign, getting into double figures once more, including a goal in the promotion-clinching win over Coventry last April.
Adam's form in the second tier saw him named in the PFA Team of the Year for a second successive campaign, whilst he also finished runner-up to teammate Rickie Lambert for the Championship’s Player of the Year award in 2012.
After taking over Team Captain responsibilities with Saints, September 2012 proved to be one of the most memorable times for Lallana.
He earned his first full England call-up for a World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine at Wembley, before becoming a father for the first time when son Arthur Michael was born.
The 24-year-old has overcome knee and groin injuries this season, playing his 24th match of the campaign last weekend and netting his 50th Southampton goal in the process.
A new contract now beckons for the home-grown fans’ favourite, who will surpass a decade of service before the end of his new deal.