Southampton defender Jack Stephens insists he is determined to repay the club for the faith they have shown him after he signed a new five-year deal earlier this week.
The Saints confirmed on Saturday that the defender has committed his future to St Mary’s after an impressive campaign last year.
Stephens, who has been with Southampton since the age of 17, became a key member of the first-team squad last season.
The 23-year-old played a crucial role as he filled in for Virgil van Dijk once he suffered a knee injury in January.
Under new manager Mauricio Pellegrino, he is now excited for a new challenge and he admits he must repay the club for their loyalty.
He told the club’s official website: “I love it here. It’s a great club and we’ve enjoyed some good times here.
Hopefully now we can push on and have so more good times together. “I know how much support the club has given me and I am very grateful for it.
I just want to keep developing now and hopefully repay them. I think it is always going to be a positive that the manager played in the position that I do.
“Hopefully he can help me develop and pass on his experiences to me to help me become a better player.”
Stephens will be expected to start the first game of the season against Swansea on August 12.
The Saints are the 1.73 favourites to win, with the draw at 3.80, while the Swans are priced at odds of 4.50 to grab all three points.