Josh Sims signs new contract with Southampton

Josh Sims has signed a new contract at Southampton which ties the academy graduate to St Mary's until 2020.

The 19-year-old has played eight times for Claude Puel's side this season after breaking into the first-team set-up on the south coast.

Sims, who has also represented England at under-18 level, made an instant impact as he set up Charlie Austin to score the only goal of the game in a victory over Everton in November.

He has also featured for the Saints in the Europa League and now wants to continue his progress having penned a fresh three-and-a-half year deal.

"I'm absolutely delighted to signed a new contract with the club," Sims told the club's official website. "I'm really happy that the club have put faith in me to offer me a new contract.

"I can't really put into words how good it has been recently, but I just need to push on now and continue my progress.

"I can't see why you wouldn't want to sign here. This is definitely the club for me to help me progress and aspire to be like some of the other Academy graduates to have come through."

Southampton have produced several well-known players through their academy, with the likes of Theo Walcott, Gareth Bale and Adam Lallana having come through the ranks at the club.

And Les Reed, executive director of football, is pleased that Sims has followed in the footsteps of the next set of young hopefuls to commit to the Saints.

"We're thrilled that Josh has extended his commitment to Southampton Football Club until at least 2020," Reed said.

"Following on from Harrison Reed, Sam McQueen and Jake Hesketh earlier in the season, we're delighted that yet another Academy graduate believes they're in the right place to continue their development."