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Defender Tim Ream has signed a new two-year contract with Fulham, the club announced this evening.

The American centre back, who was voted Fulham’s player of the season as the Whites won the Championship play-offs to return to the Premier League after a four year absence, will now stay at Craven Cottage until 2020 – with an option to extend the deal by a further year. The former Bolton defender has become a cult hero with the Fulham faithful following a slow start at the club and emerged as Slavisa Jokanovic’s first choice centre half despite having been told he could leave the club in the summer of 2016.

Ream, who has made 122 appearances in his three-year spell with the Whites, told Fulham’s official website that he was delighted to follow captain Tom Cairney in committing his future to the club. The 30 year-old said:

I wanted to sort it out fairly quickly. It gives you the freedom and the licence to go out and focus on the football, so it’s just nice to have it done. The goal all along was to be in the Premier League, and now to have the opportunity to play there with this group of guys is something that I think we’re all looking forward to, not just myself, and hopefully we can make it special this year.

Fulham’s vice chairman and head of football operations Tony Khan also commented:

I’m thrilled to announce that Fulham Football Club has agreed to a contract extension with Tim Ream. Since his arrival, Tim has set unparalleled standards for professionalism and dedication, and because of his contributions to our success in the past year he was voted our player of the season.

It’s therefore only fitting that Tim will continue his career at Craven Cottage, where his love affair with the Fulham faithful and their exuberant chants of “REAM!” shall continue.