According to a recent report from Calcio Mercato (via talkSPORT), Southampton are one side interested in a move for midfielder Dennis Praet. The 24-year-old currently plays his football at Italian side Sampdoria and has done so since leaving Anderlecht back in 2016, with the attacker having since gone on to appear 74 times for the Serie A outfit.
And reports suggest that Mark Hughes’ Southampton, as well as Claude Puel’s Leicester, are keeping tabs on the 24-year-old, and were the Saints to indeed get a deal done for the one-time Belgium international, it could spell seriously bad news for £16.2 million-rated ace James Ward-Prowse (as per Transfermarkt).
Ultimately, Belgian star Praet has been earning some rave reviews for his efforts in both his homeland and indeed Italy at Anderlecht and Sampdoria respectively, with the midfielder scoring 27 goals and laying on 39 assists in 182 appearances for the former before joining the latter little over two years ago.
And while his numbers aren’t as impressive from his time in Serie A, scoring just twice and laying on only four assists in 74 games for Sampdoria, the fact he continues to play and perform regularly for the Italian outfit underlines his influence and overall importance to the team.
And were Hughes able to lure him to Southampton in the near future, it could well spell bad news for current Saints star Ward-Prowse, what with the one-time England international already struggling for regular football at St Mary’s.
The 23-year-old has come up through the ranks at the South Coast club and has since gone on to appear 208 times for the Saints, and while that is indeed quite a lot of appearances, it’s worth noting that just 127 of those have been starts.
And with only two appearances in the Premier League this term under Hughes, of which just one was a start, it’s clear that he is already some way down the midfield pecking order at St Mary’s, with the likes of Oriol Romeu, Mario Lemina, and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg higher up in Hughes’ thinking.
In fact, Ward-Prowse has had to make-do with several cameo roles out wide in a bid to try and get into the Southampton side, and while he has often done well there, it doesn’t look like he’s going to command regular football in those positions either – thus, throw another talented midfielder into the mix in Praet, and things don’t look at all good for the 23-year-old.
Yes, there is little doubting that Ward-Prowse has a tremendous amount of talent and potential just waiting to be fulfilled, but it’s simply not happening for him at Southampton at the moment.
And with Praet one man linked with a move to St Mary’s, his possible arrival in the near future could spell seriously bad news for the England international and his own future prospects on the South Coast.
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