Liverpool have confirmed this morning that Nabil El Zhar has signed an extension to his current Liverpool contract that will keep him at Anfield until 2012. El Zhar impressed last season after a succession of early season substitute appearances coincided with some notable late revivals from Rafael Benitez’s side.
Liverpool signed El Zhar from St. Etienne in October 2006. Upon joining, Nabil featured prominently for the reserve side, playing at right wing, left wing and behind the striker in the reserves where he impressed under the guidance of former Reserve team coach, Gary Ablett.
Nabil made his Liverpool debut as a 71st minute substitute against Portsmouth in November 2006. It was the first of three appearances in 2006-07. The following season saw him make his first start against Cardiff in the Carling cup where he scored a 25-yard rocket that flew into the net. Nabil featured prominently for the Liverpool Reserves during the 2007/08 season helping them clinch the National title. Last season, the 22-year-old made 19 appearances for the Reds’ first-team.
Speaking to the official Liverpool website last week, El Zhar expressed how he hopes to be part of Rafas plans next year and help the club push for the Premiership title.
“I have to work hard and God willing improve and prove my worth and play my part for the first team, I feel as though I am more at home at the club now. I’ve been gaining more confidence by coming on more, and now I just have to keep on going, work hard and try and play many more games.”
“You have to forget about the big names you are playing with and try to show people what you can do. I have to keep at this level. The manager has said to me that he wanted to give me more chances in the first-team. He told me that I had to work hard and listen to advice and take my opportunities when they come.”
El Zhar follows Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Daniel Agger and Dirk Kuyt who have all signed new deals since the end of the 2008/09 campaign.