Carlton Palmer has offered his thoughts on how much he thinks Aston Villa wiould need to pay for James Ward-Prowse…
Palmer has suggested that it will take an offer of up to £40m from Aston Villa to land Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse this summer.
“I think an offer of £35million or £40million will get him out of Southampton but they will have to pay over the odds for players because people know they have this money. That’s unfortunate.
“Ideally, Aston Villa would have liked to have done their business before the offer for Grealish.”
Johan Lange must seal a deal for Ward-Prowse if the figures Palmer mentioned are accurate, as he could be a sublime addition to Dean Smith’s squad. He is a proven Premier League performer and someone who could arrive and hit the ground running, rather than a signing from abroad who could need time to settle.
Douglas Luiz and John McGinn were Villa’s preferred central midfield partnership and Lange could improve upon the former by adding the England international to the team before the end of the window.
Defensively, Ward-Prowse was slightly more active than the Brazilian. The Saints man averaged 4.5 tackles, interceptions and clearances per game, whilst Luiz averaged 4.0 per game. In terms of ball recoveries and ground duel success rate, the £40m-rated man also came out on top.
Offensively, there was not even a competition between the pair. With the caveat that he played an extra five matches, Ward-Prowse managed 311 more forward passes, 41 more chances created, eight more goals and five more assists whilst also completing a higher percentage of his passes – per Squawka.
At the end of last season, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl hailed Ward-Prowse as “outstanding” and pointed out that he will be important to the long-term future of the club.
The Austrian told the Daily Echo: “It’s not surprising for me, a player who played every minute this season is unbelievable.
“His physicality and his performances are outstanding. That’s our captain on the pitch and he is on the way that he is a very important player for this club for the long-term, I think.”
These comments from Hasenhuttl and the aforementioned statistics suggest that the £75k-per-week beast could be an upgrade on Luiz, as he has shown that he is better defensively and offensively than the ex-Manchester City man whilst playing in the same division.
If Palmer’s estimated fee is correct, Villa should stump it up and get the England international to Villa Park.
AND in other news, Villa preparing bid for “magical” 21y/o wing wizard, he’d excite the fans…