Southampton manager Mark Hughes has rewarded goalkeeper Alex McCarthy for the key role he played in their successful Premier League survival bid with a new four-year contract.
The 28-year-old did not make his first Premier League appearance of the season until December 30 but went on to keep seven clean sheets in 18 league games.
Saints eventually avoided relegation by just three points and Hughes was happy to reward McCarthy for the part he played in that.
“Alex played a key role for us last season, and we are delighted he has agreed a new deal here,” Hughes told southamptonfc.com.
“His performances last season speak for themselves, and it is clear how highly regarded he is by his team-mates and also the supporters.
“It was clearly a priority this summer to ensure the commitment between him and the club was strengthened, and we believe Alex is very much in the right place to continue to grow and improve his game.”
McCarthy had just 12 months remaining on his previous contract and was delighted to extend his stay.
“I’m massively pleased. I had one year left on my current deal and obviously I’m over the moon to sign a new four-year deal,” he said.
“I think the club is going in the right direction. With the way we finished the season, we can take that into this one and hopefully finish a lot higher up the table.”
Southampton confirmed earlier on Wednesday that midfielder Dusan Tadic had joined Dutch side Ajax for an undisclosed fee.
Serbia international Tadic, 29, scored 23 goals in over 160 appearances during a four-year spell with Southampton.
“Southampton Football Club can confirm that Dusan Tadic has agreed a move to Ajax for an undisclosed fee,” the club said on their official website.
“The transfer, which will be officially completed on July 1, sees the 29-year-old move back to the Dutch top flight, four years after joining Saints from FC Twente.”
Tadic has started in both of Serbia’s World Cup group games in Russia and played the full 90 minutes in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Switzerland.
Southampton signed him for £10.9million in July 2014 from Twente, who paid over £6m to lure him from Groningen four years earlier.
He was instrumental in helping Southampton to their sixth-placed finish in the Premier League in 2016, starring alongside Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane, and was the club’s joint top-scorer last season with seven goals.