Sheffield United's Chris Basham signs new two-year contract after re-emerging as a key figure at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United's longest-serving player Chris Basham has signed a new two-year contract which will take him to 10 years at Bramall Lane.

The Blades had the option of triggering a 12-month extension to Basham's contract but such is his importance, they have agreed a deal twice as long.

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A free transfer signing from Blackpool in 2014, the 33-year-old has made nearly 350 appearances for the Blades. He and manager Paul Heckingbottom have made it clear for months they wanted his association with the club to continue.

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KEY FIGURE: Sheffield United's Chris BashamKEY FIGURE: Sheffield United's Chris Basham
KEY FIGURE: Sheffield United's Chris Basham

"It is amazing to get it signed off early and obviously I'm delighted," said the Hebburn-born defender. The manager still speaks to me as though I'm a big part of his plans and that made me feel wanted and keen to get things signed off.

"I'm excited about the future under Hecky, this is a fantastic club and I love playing here. If I can contribute for another two years then that'll be brilliant for me."

Along with Jack O'Connell, right-sider Basham epitomised the brand of football the Blades played under Chris Wilder as an overlapping central defender. It was an approach that took the team from League One to ninth in the Premier League, with Basham a mainstay of the side.

When Slavisa Jokanovic took over as manager at the start of the season he began experimenting with different formations and Basham's importance diminished. Since Heckingbottom replaced him in November, has tried to move closer to Wilder's way of playing, and the fans favourite has again become a key figure.

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"We are delighted that Bash has followed Billy Sharp in demonstrating his commitment to the club, he has been a vital member of the squad for a number of years and there is definitely more to come from him," said Heckingbottom.

"He is fantastic in the dressing room, one of the fittest lads in the squad and I don't have to tell Blades fans what he brings when he pulls on a red-and-white striped shirt."

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