John Souttar insists he wanted to repay Hearts for showing faith in him back in 2016 by committing his future to the club.
The Scotland defender has signed a new deal until 2022, days after both Michael Smith and Christophe Berra extended their own contracts.
The 22-year-old, who has made almost 100 appearances for the Jambos, believes it was only right that he returned the favour after the club stood by him through injuries, and says his new deal means that everyone is a winner.
Speaking to HeartsTV this afternoon, John said: “I’m delighted to be part of what this club is building. We’ve secured a few boys recently and I’m just glad that I’m the next one.
“Obviously I didn’t have long left in my deal, a year left, and I felt like I owed the club something to sign. It’s worked out well for all parties.
“The club took me when I was struggling at Dundee United so it was important for me to give something back to them and that’s happened now.
“I’ve nearly played 100 games for the club now so it’s been a lot in three years. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, my family enjoy it here and love coming to games.
“For me, personally, I’m just delighted to be here and to repay the club and the faith they showed in me at the start.
“I’ve had a couple of injuries but I feel really comfortable in myself now and in my game, and I feel like it’s the best I’ve been playing.
“It’s been an eventful three years but personally it has been a good one because I’ve gotten better every year.
“I want to keep progressing, keep getting better and all parties will be happy if I do progress and get to the highest level. I think that’s what this deal does; looks after everyone.”
John’s interview is available to watch in full now on HeartsTV by clicking here.