Liam Moore’s new contract is merited, says Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson says defender Liam Moore thoroughly deserves his new three-year contract.
The 19-year-old, from Loughborough, has broken into the City first team this season after progressing through the youth ranks.
Pearson says his emergence has been a massive bonus for the club.
However, he also urged the teenager, who has been the subject of speculation that several top clubs were monitoring his progress, to continue his development.
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"He showed last season when he made a couple of appearances that he could perform in the first team," said Pearson.
"This pre-season he has been asked to play centre-back and I think he has had a very good start to the season.
"He has been a bonus for us because,when you look at our potential shortcomings in that position during pre-season and at the start of the season, I think he has done exceptionally well.
"The other night, against Burnley, I decided to rest him because it has been a huge change for him.
"He will have a big part to play for the rest of the season and he deserves his new contract.
"He has a bright future so we are delighted as a club to secure his signature.
"I think it is important for us to recognise the contribution of players coming through the system."
Pearson said Moore had shown maturity during the contract negotiations and has not been affected by the speculation that Manchester United and Arsenal were monitoring the situation.
"He is a super lad," said Pearson. "Because he is a level-headed lad as well, it has not been a difficult process in terms of his contract.
"He and his agent have been sensible and recognised this is a good opportunity and a good place to be.
"His performances have been superb and he has played alongside Wes Morgan, which I think that has helped his development massively. He will continue to develop and the good thing about Liam is he can play at right-back as well as centre-back. That gives us an extra dimension in terms of flexibility."
Strikers Harry Panayiotou and Joe Dodoo, both aged 17, have also agreed their first professional contracts with the club, while 19-year-old James Pearson, son of the City boss, has been awarded a one-year contract following a successful spell on trial.
"It is good to have young players coming through," said Pearson. "It is always an opportunity for those players to develop.
"I am James' dad so I am pleased for him, but the hard work starts here. He will have enough pressure on him without me compounding that.
"It will be a big year because he only has nine months. All three have the opportunity to make progress now."
Pearson confirmed that Andy King will be available for tomorrow's visit of Hull City to the King Power Stadium after recovering from a hamstring strain.