Joe Allen spurred by new Swansea City contract
Joe Allen says Swansea City's decision to give him a new four-year deal is a huge confidence boost as he prepares for life in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old midfielder, a key player in Swansea's promotion success, was in the final year of his contract.
"It's a great feeling for me," said Allen. "Talks have been on going for a little while but it's great to come to an agreement and finally sign.
"It's very flattering and I'm very pleased with it."
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has shown a great deal of faith in Allen's ability, comparing his play and intelligence on the ball to Barcelona's midfield architects Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
Allen, who came through the club's youth ranks before making his first-team debut in 2007, made 33 starts as the Swans secured promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs last season.
"The club have looked after me since a young age and once again they are looking out for my interests," added the two-cap Wales international.
"They've showed a lot of faith in me and being a young player I can't ask for more than that.
"For me and the other young players here it's a good sign of where the club are looking to go."
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has signed Danny Graham, Leroy Lita, Wayne Routledge, Stephen Caulker and Jose Moreira over the summer, while goalkeeper Michel Vorm is expected to complete his move this week.
Midfielder Ferrie Bodde is fit again after missing last season with a serious knee injury, offering Rodgers the exciting prospect of combining the once £5m-rated midfielder with Allen.
But despite the recruitment drive, Swansea are favourites among the bookmakers to return immediately to the Championship at the end of the season and face a potential baptism of fire in their opening game when they travel to Manchester City on 15 August.
"This game has come around very quickly," said Allen. "We've obviously been looking forward to this day for a while.
"You could say the preparations have now just about finished and it's now time to get down to business.
"Technically, Man City are very good, but they are also probably the biggest side physically in the league. I've been in the gym all summer trying to bulk up, but I think I've got a long way to go!
"But we've all got to stand up and be ready."
Allen becomes the second player to commit to the Premier League newcomers in as many days after skipper Garry Monk penned a three-year deal on Tuesday.