Sunderland prospect Duncan Watmore "delighted" after penning new four-year contract

Duncan Watmore
Duncan Watmore
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Duncan Watmore says he is "delighted" after resolving his Sunderland future by penning a new four-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

Watmore's continued progress has been one of the few bright spots for Sunderland this season after the 21-year-old made his first Black Cats start a fortnight ago and won the man of the match prize for England Under-21s last week.

There was huge interest in Watmore from the Premier League and Championship, with his previous contract due to expire next summer.

However, Watmore was always keen to remain at Sunderland and there were fresh talks with his representatives during the international break.

They reached a successful conclusion, with Watmore agreeing a fresh contract which will see him tied down at Sunderland until the summer of 2020.

Watmore said: "I'm delighted to sign my new deal and commit my future to Sunderland.

"I've had a great few years here developing my game and now I hope to push on further, with the help of the staff, my team-mates and the supporters, who have all been fantastic with me."

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has vowed to put all contract talks on hold for those who deals expire next summer, while the Black Cats' Premier League status remains in jeopardy.

But Watmore was the exception to that rule, with Allardyce immediately making it a priority to tie down the ex-Altrincham man's long-term future.

"Duncan is an exciting prospect and the kind of talent that you want to see coming through at your club," said Allardyce.

"He is a bright young man, he has a sensible head on his shoulders and if he continues to make the kind of progress we have seen this season, I am sure that he has a great future ahead of him."

Sporting director Lee Congerton added: "Every club is searching for young, talented English players, so for us to be able to agree a long-term contract with Duncan is fantastic for Sunderland.

"Through his own hard work and diligence, and by seizing the opportunities given to him, he has progressed from the youth team through to the first team, which is exactly what we want to see from our young players."