Following the arrival of Stuart Armstrong at St. Mary's on Tuesday evening, Southampton have also confirmed that goalkeeper Alex McCarthy has put pen-to-paper on a new four-year deal with the Saints to keep the shot-stopper on the south coast until the summer of 2022.
The former Crystal Palace man became a firm fan favourite during the traumatic 2017/18 Premier League campaign after replacing Fraser Forster as number one between the posts.
In total, McCarthy tallied up 18 top-flight appearances last term; keeping four clean sheets on the way to helping Southampton maintain their Premier League status for another season. He also played a major role in the side's FA Cup to the semi-final, shipping a measly one goal in the competition prior to the Wembley defeat to Chelsea.
''I’m massively pleased''
Alex McCarthy has had to be patient in order to earn his opportunity with the Saints; signing in 2016, the goalkeeper had struggled to nail down his dominance in the starting line-up prior to last term - accumulating no more than just five games in all competitions during his first twelve months at St. Mary's.
With manager Mark Hughes having a positive impact on the squad, McCarthy has had his say on the delight of new terms in a Southampton shirt: ''I had one year left on my current deal and obviously I’m over the moon to sign a new four-year deal.''
The club could only manage finishing one place outside the bottom three last time out and had a season many supporters will want to forget in a hurry, however, the ex-England under-21 international has expressed his reasoning as to why staying at the Saints was a no brainer: “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.''
“It was clearly a priority this summer''
Mark Hughes has been relatively quiet on the transfer front compared to his side's Premier League rivals up to this point, but the need to extend his goalkeeper's career at the club was a high priority of his;
''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.”
The boss has also, according to reports, began searching for his transfer targets with the acquisition of Stuart Armstrong one that Hughes was keen to get over the line, and there's continuing talks that Mohamed Elyounoussi of FC Basel is going to be summer signing number two in the coming days. Dusan Tadic has, however, completed his transfer to Ajax which means Southampton are a player short in the first-team.
Quotes from Southampton FC