Swansea City winger Wayne Routledge has seen his excellent start to the season rewarded with a new contract.
Swansea City have enjoyed a decent start to the season under new manager Garry Monk, with three wins from the first three games handing the Swans an impressive start, but successive defeats to Chelsea and Southampton have pushed them back down to fifth in the Premier League table at this early stage.
A number of players have earned plaudits for their superb displays for Swansea this term, including Jonjo Shelvey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nathan Dyer, but one of them is far less used to praise - Wayne Routledge.
The 29-year-old made his name as a youngster with Crystal Palace, but saw his career stagnate after disappointing spells with Tottenham, Aston Villa and Newcastle, though he did impress with Queens Park Rangers. It was only when Swansea came calling in 2011 that Routledge's career took off.
Now with over 100 appearances to his name for the Swans, Routledge has racked up 14 goals and 22 assists, and continues to impress. After a superb start to the season, which saw him score a wonder goal against West Brom, Routledge has been handed a new one-year contract extension, tying him to the club until 2018 - and manager Monk is delighted.
"His commitment to his club and how he's been, he's found a home, found somewhere he can be himself and bring out the player we now see week in week out. He's an experienced professional and what he brings the squad is very valuable," said Monk. "His experience is invaluable to players. He's been a around at a lot of top clubs, seen a lot of things. He has to trust you first before he opens up but his vast experience means when he does is very interesting."
"He'll admit himself a little bit he rebelled at times as a youngster but I think he never clicked at clubs where he felt he could express himself. Perhaps he was unsure of what he was capable of, but here he's had that freedom and guidance to be better. He does extras in training, he wants to improve all the time, it's great to have him here," he added.
Both Routledge and wing partner Dyer have been tipped for England call-ups, and it's believed that Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has Routledge on his radar having been to the Liberty Stadium to watch Swansea face Southampton last weekend. A number of players are vying for roles out wide for England, but it will be hard for Hodgson to ignore Routledge if his impressive displays continue.