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London – Liverpool defender Martin Kelly signed a new long-term contract with the Premier League club on Friday.
Kelly, 22, is currently sidelined due to a knee ligament injury, but the England international has been rewarded for his impressive displays at full-back earlier this season.
The day after team-mate Jamie Carragher announced he will retire at the end of the season, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admitted it was gratifying to see another Liverpool-born product of the club's youth academy commit his future to the Reds.
“Martin has shown a commitment to our vision here. He is a young player who really impressed me when I came in,” Rodgers said.
“He was exceptionally good in the games he played earlier in the season.”
Kelly, who injured his knee in the 2-1 home defeat against Manchester United in September, admitted he was relieved to have secured his long-term future at Liverpool.
“I'm delighted to sign. It means everything to me and my family,” he said.
“I've been at Liverpool since I was seven, so it's in my heart and I love the club.
“When you play in the Liverpool shirt, you have to show the fans what it means. I just love playing and trying my hardest for the supporters and for my family.”
Kelly, who has made 54 appearances for Liverpool since making his debut in 2009, added: “Being a Liverpool supporter myself, it's brilliant to put the shirt on.
“Today shows the faith that the club have in me and that the hard work I have put in since I was young has paid off.” – Sapa-AFP