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The highly rated 18-year-old midfielder, the latest young talent off the production line at St Mary's Stadium, ties himself to the newly promoted side until 2017

Southampton youngster James Ward-Prowse has signed a new five-year contract with the club.

After being promoted into the first team at the beginning of the season and starting the Saints' first game against Manchester City, the 18-year-old has been on manager Nigel Adkins' teamsheet for each Premier League fixture since.

And, after a morale-boosting 3-1 win over fellow strugglers QPR, Ward-Prowse told the club's official website: "I'm absolutely delighted.

"It was nice that we go the win on Saturday and it's nice to put pen to paper. I can kick on from here.

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"It's been an absolute whirlwind to go from playing under-18 football against lower-league teams to playing against the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United. That was my dream since I was a young kid, so to get to that stage is fantastic."

Adkins praised his 18-year-old prodigy, adding: "As one of the youngsters coming through the system, James has done ever so well since he stepped up to the first team during pre-season.

"He started the first game of the season and played there on merit; he works hard in training.

"He's a great lad in respect of being a role model for the younger players and he works very hard at his game every single day.

"We're delighted that we've got a hungry and ambitious young man who has now committed his longer-term future to the football club."

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