25-year-old winger Jay Rodriguez has signed a new contract with Southampton through the summer of 2019, the club announced today.
Rodriguez has not played this season thanks to a torn ACL suffered at the end of last Premier League season, one that kept him out of the 2014 World Cup. His old deal was set to expire in the summer of 2016.
“He’s a good player and I think he will be an important player for next season,” Southampton manager Ronald Koeman said last week with speculation that Rodriguez would sign a new deal. “If he stays, I think that is a good signal to the club, to everybody.”
“It’s been a tough year for myself being out, but I’m really delighted to sign the contract,” Rodriguez told Southampton’s official website. “It’s now about looking forward to the future. The medical staff have all worked tirelessly with me, so this is great news. I just want to carry on improving now and to try to get some game time.”
The last time Rodriguez lined up for Southampton was the game he left injured, a 4-1 loss to Manchester City on April 5, 2014. In that game, the starting lineup featured six players no longer with the club: Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Luke Shaw, Jack Cork, and Calum Chambers.
There was speculation that Rodriguez could leave this summer, with reported interest from Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, but the expectation was always that he would remain at St. Mary’s.
The Burnley native should be back from injury soon. Rodriguez returned to full training with Southampton in late April, and there’s a chance he could return to action before the season is over. That would be vital for England’s national team, as Roy Hodgson gets the team prepared for a pair of games in early June, including a Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia on June 13.