Derby County manager Steve McClaren has admitted to the club’s official website that he is ‘thrilled’ to see England Under-21 international goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell commit his long term future to the iPro Stadium.
The 22-year-old was promoted to second choice behind experienced shot-stopper Scott Carson following Lee Grant’s exit to Stoke City in the summer, producing an impressive individual performance in the EFL Cup defeat to Liverpool in September.
Mitchell has also made his bow for the England Under-21s since the start of the season, and has been further rewarded for his rapid development with a new deal that will keep him at Derby until 2019.
And McClaren, who returned in October to revive their season, could hardly hide his delight after the announcement was made.
“We’re thrilled that Jonathan Mitchell has committed his future to the club by signing this new contract; we think of a lot of him so it’s fantastic to get this sorted,” the 55-year-old told the club’s official website.
“He is a promising young goalkeeper with lots of potential. He was signed [from Newcastle United] during my first spell in charge here and it’s really pleasing to see how he has developed and progressed from then up to now.
“We have an excellent goalkeeping department and I believe that over the course of this new contract, Jonathan will develop and get even better.”
Mitchell only made his senior debut in January of this year in an FA Cup tie against his hometown club, Hartlepool United, but his next aim will be to oust the former England international Carson from the starting line-up.
However, that will be easier said than done, with the 31-year-old starting all 18 of Derby’s games in the second tier this season and helping The Rams to five consecutive clean sheets in front of their own supporters.