Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse is reportedly a target for Aston Villa, as reported by The Guardian.
The Lowdown: Ward-Prowse had an excellent 2020/21
After a commendable 2020/21 campaign, the Saints captain is now living up to his full potential. Labelled as “one of the best midfield players in the Premier League” by his current manager Ralph Hasenhüttl [Daily Echo], he earned a place in England’s provisional 33-man Euro 2020 squad before narrowly missing out on the finalised roster.
Despite that late omission, Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate still lauded Ward-Prowse as a “great captain” [Hampshire Live]. Voted the Southampton fans’ player of the year in 2021, his efforts have clearly not gone unnoticed [Saints Marching].
Ever-present for the Saints last season, the 26-year-old featured in every Premier League fixture as he recorded 15 goal contributions, with eight goals and seven assists [Transfermarkt], and it now seems that Aston Villa are set to table a bid.
The Latest: Villa in for Ward-Prowse
Villa are keen to sign the Saints midfielder, just 24 hours after agreeing to smash their transfer record for Norwich City talisman Emiliano Buendia [The Guardian].
Seeking midfield reinforcements, the Villans look set to test the resolve of Southampton, citing his set-piece quality [Daily Mail]. Any successful negotiations would come as a hammer blow to the Saints as Ward-Prowse has spent 18 years on the south coast, signing for the club at the age of eight [Daily Echo].
The Verdict: Southampton’s loss would be Aston Villa’s gain
Losing a player of Ward-Prowse’s ability would be detrimental for everyone involved at the Hampshire club. A product of the Staplewood youth system, his commitment, drive and leadership seen him installed as club captain in 2020 [Hampshire Live].
For Aston Villa, on the other hand, they would be gaining another addition to an already exciting group of players. Potentially able to thrive alongside the likes of Jack Grealish, John McGinn, Ollie Watkins and Buendia, signing Ward-Prowse could be a signal of intent by Dean Smith’s side for a European push in 2021/22.
In other news, these Saints fans react to confirmation of a player departing the club.
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