Seamus Coleman has been handed a boost in his rehabilitation from a broken leg by signing a new five-year contract at Everton.
The 28-year-old full-back, who suffered a double fracture while representing the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifying clash with Wales in March, is now tied to the Toffees until the summer of 2022.
Coleman is delighted to have put pen to paper, with his focus now locked on returning to full fitness and putting his injury troubles and regular rounds of transfer rumours – which have often linked him with Manchester United – firmly behind him.
He told Everton TV: “I’m delighted to get this signed. I’ve been here for a long time and it’s a special club that means a lot to me.
“Everything had been agreed and I was due to sign it after the international break but unfortunately I got the injury. The chairman messaged me the night of my injury and said, ‘Don’t worry about it because when you come back this contract is still waiting for you’. That sums up what the chairman and this club is all about.
“Farhad Moshiri also sent me cards and said the support was always going to be there. I’m delighted with how the club has handled the situation. Knowing that I was going to come back and sign it has definitely helped things. It’s a massive boost and gives me something to fight for.
“I want to prove my worth when I come back and show the club were right for rewarding me with this long-term contract.”
Coleman has made 247 appearances for Everton since signing for just £60,000 from Sligo Rovers in 2009.
He will be hoping to pass the 250 mark in the not too distant future, with the first tentative steps being taken down a long road to recovery from a serious injury.
“It’s a case of not doing too much too soon – it’s just baby steps at the moment - but I am getting on well so far,” he added.
“I’m starting to put more weight through the leg and I have got no pain. I’m back doing a good bit in the gym and in the pool. I’m doing exercise every day, so the recovery has well and truly started. I’m really looking forward to putting on that blue shirt again.”