Alex McCarthy has signed a new contract befitting his status as Southampton's first choice goalkeeper, keeping him at the Saints for another four years.

Fraser Forster's poor form in the first half of the 2017/18 season saw McCarthy replace him as Southampton's starting goalkeeper and he repaid that faith with some excellent performances in the second half of the season.

Southampton spent the whole season fighting against relegation and didn't guarantee their safety until the final day, but upon securing their Premier League status they sought to extend the contract of one of their top performers.

“I’m massively pleased," McCarthy told Southampton's official website. "I had one year left on my current deal and obviously I’m over the moon to sign a new four-year deal.

"I think the club is going in the right direction. With the way we finished the season, we can take that into this one and hopefully finish a lot higher up the table."

McCarthy joined Southampton from Crystal Palace in 2016 and there had been rumours that Tottenham were interested in bringing him to North London, with just one year left on his previous contract.

Forster signed a lucrative new contract last year, but Southampton did not envisage that he would be dropped for McCarthy after a string of poor performances.

In 18 Premier League appearances, McCarthy kept seven clean sheets, justifying the decision to bring him into the team.

“Alex played a key role for us last season, and we are delighted he has agreed a new deal here," added manager Mark Hughes.