Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has signed a new long-term deal with the club which will keep him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2019.
Smalling, who has featured in 20 Premier League games for the Red Devils this term, has been in tremendous form for the club of late as he continues to establish himself as a regular under Louis van Gaal.
In fact, with four league goals in England's elite division - including one against rivals Manchester City earlier this month - the player has been going from strength-to-strength under the Dutch regime, and has now been rewarded by his manager.
In fact, despite criticism this season, the statistics show that United have the third best defence in the league, having conceded just 31 goals in 33 games.
And Smalling, especially of late, has been instrumental to helping his side climb the table, with the Red Devils now in the driving seat to secure Champions League football for next season.
Over the course of the last couple of months, Smalling has been one of the club's standout stars, acting as a leader of the back-line, so will no doubt be in great spirits at the Premier League giants right now.
Van Gaal pleased
United chief Louis van Gaal has clearly been impressed with the England international, claiming that he's improved and developed a great deal throughout the course of the campaign.
"Chris has improved and developed immensely during my time at the club, becoming an integral part of the first-team squad."
It's his time
Smalling, too, appears to be overjoyed with the new deal, claiming that it's an honour to play for the club in such an exciting time.
"Proud and honoured to sign a new deal at the club. This is an exciting time for everyone at United."
And he will now know better than anyone that it's time for him to kick on and prove his credentials week in, week out at the Theatre of Dreams.
There's no doubt about it, throughout his stint at the club, he's often been the subject of a great deal of criticism, but he finally appears to be settling down.
You have to feel if he can stay fit, then he has a great chance of becoming a key man for the club for many years. His form in recent weeks has been exceptional, but he must now show exactly what he has to offer on a consistent basis.
With Louis van Gaal's trust, Smalling can turn into top-class defender at Old Trafford. It's his time to shine.
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