Sam McQueen is hoping to cement a place in the first-team squad after extending his stay at St Mary’s until 2021.
The Academy graduate has impressed since making his Premier League debut against Burnley in October, making 10 appearances in all competitions.
That included an appearance against Internazionale at the San Siro, and McQueen feels he is best placed to continue his development.
“I’m wanting to play football and I think this is the place to do it. It’s amazing for me for the club to want to invest in me as a player,” said McQueen.
“That’s going to fill me with confidence which only going to breed more performances hopefully that I can give to the club and the fans.
“It’s been a nice growth for both of us. It’s been an amazing journey for myself and the club and to be a part of it and represent the first-team is what I’ve been aiming for."
McQueen has been used primarily as a left back by manager Claude Puel during his emergence and after taking advice from Ryan Bertrand to help him adapt to the role, he is now looking to challenge both him and Matt Targett for a starting berth.
“It’s good to have the competition for places because it keeps you motivated and wanting to perform,” McQueen continued.
“For me, the next aim is to solidify myself as a first team player and be challenging to get into the starting XI.
“Left back is the position I’ve been playing mostly this season so if that means challenging Berty (Ryan Bertrand) then that’s what I’m going to have to do.
“He’s a great player and a great guy so he’ll know it’s nothing personal but everyone wants to play so I’ve got to push myself as far as I can.
“People are going to be happy for each and encouraging each other. As teammates here everyone is fantastic at inspiring each other to do good things for the team.
“That’s what it’s about – the football club. No player is more important than that and I think everyone knows that here which is really good.”