Southampton Football Club is delighted to announce that goalkeeper Artur Boruc has signed a new contract to keep him at St Mary’s until the summer of 2015.
The 33-year-old Polish international’s original deal was set to expire at the end of the current campaign but, having established himself as the team’s first-choice shot-stopper in the second half of the season, Boruc has agreed terms over a two-year extension to his time with the Club.
Boruc’s signing is welcome news as his experience on the big stage has been a valuable asset this season, with his consistent performances between the posts a factor in Saints’ rise up the Barclays Premier League table.
Having been drafted into the side for our New Year’s Day draw with Arsenal, the former Celtic custodian has started Southampton’s last 15 games with only four of those ending in defeat.
First Team Manager Mauricio Pochettino had spoken of his desire to see Artur remain with the Club beyond this summer, and Saints Executive Chairman Nicola Cortese has moved to secure the ‘keeper on a longer term deal.
"I am very pleased and I’m proud to be a part of a big prospect," said Boruc. "As a club, I believe we can achieve a lot over the next two years, and I'm looking forward to that.
"As I’ve said before, [the Premier League] is probably the best place to play football and nothing has changed my mind on that since I came to Southampton.
"The new manager has changed a lot – we're playing totally different football, and I think that football is quite nice to watch and quite effective.
"Playing this style of football you can achieve a lot, and you need to be ambitious in your life.
"We've been getting points against teams like Liverpool and Manchester City, but I think we can get even better. We’re looking forward to the next game."
Pochettino, who watched on as Boruc penned his new contract this afternoon, commented: "I'm very happy and very satisfied.
"Artur deserves this contract because, in the three months that I've been here, he has been crucial for us.
"He has a very strong personalty and character. He is very brave in the way that he plays and, with our brand of football, it's very important that we have a 'keeper like Boruc for the long term.
"It's especially important for him to go into the last few games of the season with the confidence of the Club and to know that he's going to be here for the next two years, because that suits his competitiveness."
Boruc arrived at St Mary’s as a free agent outside of the transfer window last September with aims of playing regular Premier League football and to re-establish himself as Poland’s first-choice goalkeeper.
Having been without a team since the conclusion of his contract with Italian side Fiorentina in June last year, Artur had missed out on a full pre-season programme and so made his first appearances for the Club in Barclays U21 Premier League games against Stoke and Manchester United.
He would not make his maiden First Team appearance until a month after signing, in a 4-1 defeat at West Ham in late October. He held the number-one jersey for just two games, with Paulo Gazzaniga and Kelvin Davis then being preferred in goal for the remainder of 2012.
However, after showing an impressive attitude and performing well in training, Boruc was eventually recalled for the first game of 2013 and has not looked back since.
Artur has been part of a backline that has shored up considerably since the turn of the year, keeping four clean sheets since his return to the side and finding himself in good form under new manager Pochettino.
Boruc’s undoubted highlight in a Saints shirt came last month away at Norwich, where he was called upon to make a last-minute penalty save from Grant Holt to preserve a point for the visitors.
Another personal high was his long-awaited return to the international set-up with Poland. After a two-year absence from representing his country, Boruc was recalled to the Polish side in February for a friendly in the Republic of Ireland, where he played the first half half of a 2-0 defeat.
Artur has since kept hold of the number-one jersey, playing for his country in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Ukraine and San Marino last month as Poland look to qualify for next summer’s finals in Brazil.
The 33-year-old will now look to use the next two seasons to build upon his impressive achievements prior to his arrival at St Mary’s.
In 2002, Siedlce-born Boruc won the Polish Ekstraklasa with his second club, Legia Warszawa, before moving to Celtic – initially on loan – in 2005.
He made 186 appearances during his five campaigns with the Glasgow giants, winning the Scottish Premier League three times. He also picked up the Scottish Cup in 2006-07 as well as the Scottish League Cup in 2005-06 and 2008-09.
Having made his debut for his country in April 2004, Artur was Poland's first-choice stopper at the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany and UEFA Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland.
In 2008, Boruc was one of five goalkeepers shortlisted for FIFPro World Player XI awards along with Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Petr Cech and Edwin van der Sar.
In 2010, after five years in Scotland, Boruc moved to Italy with Fiorentina. He made 64 appearances for the Serie A outfit across two seasons before leaving on a free transfer in the hope of fulfilling his dream of playing in England.
A year on, with his stock continuing to rise at Southampton, Artur will now seek to build upon his performances in the last few months to help the Club realise its own ambitions over the next two seasons.