David Turnbull says he felt he owed it to Motherwell to sign a new contract after thanking the club for standing by him during his eight-month injury nightmare.
Last season’s Scottish Football Writers’ young player of the year has agreed a fresh one-year deal which ties him to Fir Park until 2022.
The 20-year-old had been due to join Celtic in the summer as part of a record-breaking £3.25million move, only for the discovery of a serious knee injury to scupper his Parkhead dream.
He was forced to undergo surgery to fix the problem but made his long-awaited return against St Mirren last month.
And now that he is close to regaining full fitness, Turnbull says it was time he repaid Well for their support by signing a deal which will ensure they receive big money should Celtic or any other suitor come sniffing again.
“As soon as I knew I was back, fit and ready to get some game time, I wanted to make sure my contract was sorted,” he said.
“I have been here a long time. I feel as if I owe the club and the supporters for the way I have been looked after and treated.
“I’ve missed most of this season, so this puts us back to pretty much where we were at this stage last year in terms of my deal, giving the club a little more protection as I was coming into the last year of my contract.
“All my focus now is on spending the next few weeks getting up to full fitness, get back to just playing and enjoying playing football for Motherwell.”
The Well academy graduate made a blistering start to his first-team career, scoring 15 league goals in just 30 appearances.
He swept the board at the club’s awards night before netting the SWFA’s young player prize.
His form brought about attention from both sides of the border with club-record bids received from Celtic and Norwich.
But he remained a Motherwell player after preventative surgery was required to repair an asymptomatic knee problem.
“The fact David has agreed to extend his deal says everything about him as a person and about his family,” manager Stephen Robinson.
“To have such a talented player available to us again and signing for an extended period is significant for the club.”