. . . Leon commits his Swans future
Midfield dynamo Leon Britton has given the club a major boost by signing a new three-and-a-half year contract.
The one-year extension will keep the fans’ favourite at the Liberty Stadium until the summer of 2016.
“I’m delighted,’’ beamed Britton, 30. “I know I’ve said it before, but I would love nothing more than to finish my career here.
“It’s been my life for the last 10 years, apart from a six month sabbatical at Sheffield United, of course, and there’s no other place I’d rather be playing my football.
“I never expected things to turn out the way they have when I returned from Sheffield two years ago. The club was in the Championship at the time and there was certainly no guarantee of promotion. But we went straight up into the Premier League, have established ourselves in our second season and we are now looking forward to our first major cup final.”
Britton first joined the Swans on loan from West Ham in December 2002 after signing for the Hammers from Arsenal for £400,000 in 1998 at the age of 16.
He made the move to the Vetch Field permanent the following summer having helped the club secure their Football League status with that famous last day victory over Hull City.
Having made his 400th appearance for the Swans against Reading earlier this season, Britton has already set himself a new target.
“The target for me has always been 500 appearances,’’ he added. “That will really be something special for me.
“I’d like to think I can keep performing regularly in the first team for a few more seasons yet. It’s probably for others to say, but personally I believe I am playing the best football of my career.
“I’ve gained more experience as I’ve got older and I believe the Premier League has made me a better player. I think it suits me because it’s not such a physical league. There is only minimal contact allowed these days and, not being the biggest of lads, it does help!’’
Ironically, Britton limped off midway through the second-half on his return to West Ham on Saturday with an ankle injury, although it is not expected to keep him out for any length of time.
“I am due to have a scan today,’’ added Britton. “It’s swollen and bruised, but it feels ok.’’
The new deal follows on from Swans midfielder Michu also committing his long-term future to the club.