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Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 21:13 UK

Ashton signs long-term contract

Dean Ashton
Ashton scored three goals in the last three games of the season

West Ham striker Dean Ashton has pledged his future to the club by signing a new five-year deal.

The 24-year-old, who had been linked with Manchester United, Portsmouth and Newcastle won his first England cap in the friendly against Trinidad & Tobago.

"I said all along I wanted to sign, I feel I have still got a lot the club and the fans," the former Norwich striker told the club website.

"I am really happy that I have signed, now I can look forward to next season."

Ashton, who scored 11 goals last season, joined West Ham from Norwich for 7.25m in January 2006 and helped the club to the FA Cup final, where they lost on penalties to Liverpool.

His performances that season earned him an England call-up for the friendly with Greece in August 2006.

But he broke his ankle in training for that game and missed the whole of the 2006-07 season, and also suffered injuries in the 2007-08 season.

"I didn't play as many games as I wish I could and obviously I missed the season before," he said.

"I am really excited about next season. I feel I can only get better so I am really glad that I have signed and can look forward to the future.

"I think after the injury I had as well, it is nice the club have managed to agree with me on a new deal.

"We are really looking to the future."

Hammers chief executive Scott Duxbury said: "I am delighted that we have agreed this new contract with Dean. It underlines the ambition of the club to progress and challenge at the top end of the Premier League."

see also
End of big spending at West Ham
09 May 08 |  West Ham
Ashton breaks ankle in training
15 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Ashton receives England call-up
11 Aug 06 |  Internationals
Hammers complete Ashton transfer
23 Jan 06 |  West Ham

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