LEEDS UNITED defender Scott Wootton has agreed a one-year contract extension - committing his future at Elland Road until 2017.
Wootton, out of favour for much of the first half of the season, has been rewarded for his recent upturn in form, with the Birkenhead-born player admitting that his turnaround this calendar year has been somewhat unexpected.
Wootton, who joined the club for an undisclosed fee from Manchester United in the summer of 2013, had a year and a half remaining on his existing deal, with his new contract retaining his services at United until June 2017.
As recently as Christmas, the 23-year-old’s future potentially looked away from Leeds, with the defender, currently occupying the right-back berth but also able to slot in at centre-half, on loan at Yorkshire rivals Rotherham United.
Wootton joined the Millers ahead of the emergency loan deadline in late November and enjoyed a restorative loan spell in South Yorkshire, with Millers boss Steve Evans revealing his desire to keep him on an extended basis late last year.
Speculation suggested that Wootton could move to Rotherham on a permanent basis, but after his return up the M1 to Leeds in mid-January, he has made the most of being handed a path back to the first-team at Leeds.
On his surprise new deal, Wootton, an ever-present since returning to the Leeds line-up against Birmingham City on January 17, said: “I’m very pleased, I’m delighted to have signed a contract extension - everything’s going very well at the minute.”
And on his transformation, he added: “I was on loan, playing week-in, week out at Rotherham which I really enjoyed.
“I never expected it to turn around like it has and that is one of the reasons why I’m extra pleased.
“I got a run in the side last season before I picked up an injury at Charlton and I don’t think you can get to your best by playing a couple of games here and there.
“It’s difficult when you’re not getting a run in the side, but hopefully I’ll stay there from now until the end of the season.
“I’ve played the last seven games and hopefully that will continue – then you’ll start to see the best of me.”