MELBOURNE has signed key forward Tom McDonald to a new four-year deal.

It means the 25-year-old will remain with the club until at least the end of the 2022 season.

General manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said McDonald was an important part of the club’s future. 

“Tom is in his eighth year at the club, he was recruited as a ruckman/forward who played the first seven years as a key defender,” he told Melbourne Media.

“Now playing as a forward since his return this year, Tom has been providing us a great target and working well with our other forward options.

“Tom was a free agent this year and his signing is another positive sign for the environment that is being created at the club.”

The 132-gamer has arguably been in career-best form since returning from a foot injury in round six.

He has kicked 19 goals in his past six matches, including 15 majors in his previous four games.

McDonald finished third in the club’s best and fairest in 2012 and 2015, while he claimed a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in 2012.

He was originally drafted at No.53 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft from Edenhope-Apsley/North Ballarat Rebels.