Southampton handed defender Jose Fonte a fresh three-year contract yesterday, and named him captain for the forthcoming season at the same time in a strong statement to the fans.
The decision will seem like an easy one, but Fonte's comments in the statement show his belief in manager Ronald Koeman and the club ahead of the new campaign, especially after the recent departures.
Defender Fonte, who joined Southampton from Crystal Palace in 2010, has become a key figure at the club over the recent years, helping them to win consecutive promotions to the Premier League.
Naming Fonte as captain was almost a certainty after Morgan Schneiderlin's recent outburst, but he displays all of the qualities you need in a leader on the field.
The Portuguese is vocal on the pitch, commanding and leading by example. He is also a calm and collected, but passionate when he needs to be, something Southampton will need this season.
He had arguably a better season than his defensive partner Dejan Lovren last season, and will be a main stay in the Southampton defence this season despite rumours of incoming signings, these seem to be to partner rather than replace the 6ft 2in star.
Message to the fans
The contract and the captaincy sent out a strong message to the Southampton faithful, but it was Fonte's comments that may have helped the most though, with the defender confirming his relationship with the fans and the ambition of the club were the key reason's behind his decision to pen a new deal.
“This is where I feel at home and I’ve been very successful at this club in the last five years, so it was an easy decision."
“What made we sign was first that we signed a very good manager and second that the fans have been very good with me. They love me and I have a very good relationship with them.
“Thirdly, I believe that we have enough quality in the team, and that with as few additions we will have a very good season and will try to do the same as last year or even better if we can." he told the club's official website.
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