Exciting young prospect Max Bird has put pen-to-paper on a new contract with Derby County.
Bird, who is 18, has signed fresh terms with the Rams which will run until the summer of 2022.
The midfielder has featured seven times for Derby’s first-team under manager Frank Lampard this season.
Bird made his league debut in the Rams’ 2-1 home win over Swansea City in December and made his full home bow in January during Derby’s 2-2 draw at home to Premier League Southampton in the Third Round of the Emirates FA Cup.
He also made his first-ever league start earlier this month at Aston Villa and earned praise from Lampard for his performance.
As well as being a regular member of the first-team squad this season, Bird has featured regularly for Derby’s Under-23s and also worn the captain’s armband on several occasions.
Commenting on the news, Lampard said: “Max is a really good young man and an excellent young professional here at Derby County. He wants to learn and take in information and, ever since the first-time I called him up to train with the first-team, he has been impressive.
“He has improved this year and he will also keep improving too because of the attitude that he has got. The attitude of a player is always critical but even more so as a young player at such an important stage of their development as they try to make the jump from the youth ranks to the first-team. That’s why the attitude of a player is just as important as the quality we see on the pitch.”
He added: “I have no worries at all with Max that he will continue to work hard but, with any young player, they need guidance along the way and we’ll continue to give him that as a management team and also with the senior professionals we have in the dressing room. With the ability Max has got and how he goes about his work it’s only a matter of time until we see more of him in the first-team.”
Bird made his first-team debut for Derby in the Carabao Cup last season at the age of 16, completing a journey that started with him joining the club’s Academy set-up at the age of nine.
During the current campaign, Bird has made two starts and a further five appearances off the bench.