Aston Villa transfer target James Ward-Prowse could form a superb partnership with Jack Grealish amid reports linking him with a move to the club this summer.
The Guardian recently claimed that Villa manager Dean Smith is keen on making a move for the Southampton and England midfielder, which would tie in with what he recently had to say about the club’s transfer plans.
Smith admitted that the club would be looking to target players who have played in the Premier League before, as that can help them hit the ground running when joining.
While Ward-Prowse didn’t make the cut to be a part of Gareth Southgate’s final England squad for Euro 2020, the prospect of him joining up with fellow Three Lions teammate Grealish at Villa Park next season is a mouth-watering one to say the least.
His set pieces in particular have become a real trademark of his, and it was something which left Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer raving about it last season.
The Norwegian said: “We played some fantastic football and created so many chances. We must have had five or six clear-cut opportunities but they had Ward-Prowse! You can’t stop him.
“It’s just one of them where you hope you don’t give set-pieces away. He’s got the quality and it’s one of them, you can’t blame anyone.”
Given that he plays deeper in midfield, Ward-Prowse can be the kind of central playmaker who collects the ball from the two centre-backs before playing those progressive passes into Grealish further forward.
As per fbref.com, Ward-Prowse’s passes in the Premier League last season progressed for more than 10,000 yards, a real indication of how he is always looking to move things forward rather than keeping things simple.
That stat ranks him 49th in the entire division for 2020/21, a pretty impressive achievement considering most of the players above him are goalkeepers and defenders – in terms of midfielders, only Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Ashley Westwood, Rodri and Granit Xhaka exceeded the 26-year-old’s tally.
Grealish would surely love to have someone who can raise the tempo of a game by playing those key passes in between the lines and into his feet as quickly as possible, and it has all the potential to be a really impressive partnership at Villa Park if Ward-Prowse makes the move.