READING midfielder Aaron Tshibola has extended his loan stay at Hartlepool United until the end of the season.
As revealed by SportMail on Monday, boss Ronnie Moore was keen to tie the 20-year-old midfielder down until the end of the campaign.
His one-month loan spell was due to end after Saturday’s visit of Plymouth Argyle.
But Tshibola - who has played every minute since he arrived at Pools - will now be at the club until May.
Tshibola turned down another League Two club to seal an extended stay at Pools.
“I always wanted to stay here,” he said.
“I feel comfortable at the club and didn’t want to ruin that so once there was the chance to stay I was keen to get everything sorted.
“I am ready for the fight ahead now – if we keep on playing like we did against Tranmere then I am more than confident we can stay up.
“We’ve got a big game against Plymouth on Saturday now.”
Moore - who was celebrating his 62nd birthday on Thursday - was equally delighted to tie Tshibola down for longer.
He said: “It’s fantastic to have him here until the end of the season.
“I think he’s grown in stature since he’s been with the club.
“There is no doubt that he is capable of playing at a higher level, and he had the opportunity to go and play higher – the pleasing thing is that he’s decided to stay here and fight it out with us, that proves what kind of man he is.
“I first saw him play on a freezing cold night in Bolton for Reading Under 21s.
“Sam [Collins] and I were both there and we took to him straight away.
“The Under 21s league is all about passing but he can handle the physical side as well.
“He’s 6ft 2ins and strong as an ox so we knew he’d be okay on that front.
“On top of that though, he is a very gifted and talented footballer so keeping him here until the end of the season is the perfect birthday present for me - now we just need three points on Saturday go with it!”