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Page last updated at 15:22 GMT, Friday, 27 June 2008 16:22 UK

Sunderland extend Leadbitter deal

Grant Leadbitter
Leadbitter has enjoyed England under-21 recognition

Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter has signed a new three-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

The England under-21 international made 17 appearances in the top flight last season, despite picking up a series of injuries which halted his progress.

The new deal means the 22-year-old is tied to the club until 2011 and admits agreeing terms was an easy decision.

"I'm happy at the club and I want to help drive it forward next season, I want to kick on," he said.

The combative midfielder shone in 2006/07 - boss Roy Keane's first season in charge - winning a Championship medal, and the Irishman was delighted to have secured Leadbitter's signature.

He's got quality and he's enthusiastic

Sunderland boss Roy Keane

"Grant's done a good job since I came to the club," Keane said.

"He's got quality and he's enthusiastic - a good character. He's maturing well."

Leadbitter is now Sunderland's longest-serving player after making his debut in September 2003.

He has made 93 appearances for the Black Cats, scoring nine goals.

see also
Leadbitter remains Black Cats man
12 Jan 07 |  Sunderland

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