ROTHERHAM UNITED Paul Warne believes that Michael Ihiekwe's new contract is just reward for a "virtually faultless" start to the season with the Millers.
The Liverpool-born centre-half, 26, has signed an extended deal until the summer of 2022 following several weels of talks.
On the news, which follows on from Joe Mattock penning fresh terms with the club, Warne, said: "It is really good news for us. He has been virtually faultless this season. He is an unbelievable athlete.
"He's now got a son, which changes people. He is a lot more responsible. I think he is a future captain of this team.
"I have been keen to get Icky's new contract nailed down as early as possible.
"It is a credit to the club that we've managed to persuade him to stay. I'd like to thank my chairman for supporting me on it.
"The players hold all the cards. We want the players more than they want us really because there are other clubs that would take them. I'm really pleased."
On the move, Ihiekwe added: "I have said all along that I wanted to stay.
"I love it here. The staff and the group are brilliant and I feel I am improving as a player. I hope that I can help the club return to the Championship."