Southampton have truly found their groove in the Premier League this season and have come flying out the blocks. Now fourth in the table, they boast 13 points after winning four of their seven games played. An inspired performance against Aston Villa sees them just three points off the top spot.
Ralph Hasenhuttl is not holding back this time round. A top ten spot would have been the team’s target at the start of the season, but with so many twists and turns already, they may be eyeing up a top six finish instead.
The Saints have a lot to be thankful for as they enjoy their blistering start to the campaign. The team as a whole is working wonderfully together and the new signings appear to be settling in nicely. Kyle Walker-Peters has proved to be an extremely smart bit of business from Martin Semmens. But there’s one man who has impressed more than the defender.
Tying down James Ward-Prowse to a new five-year contract has arguably been the best decision the club has made during the transfer window and at the moment it is proving to be a Semmens masterclass.
After guiding the Saints to a 4-3 win over Villa on Sunday, the skipper has made club history. The midfielder has overtaken club icon Matt Le Tissier as the player to score the most direct free-kicks with an impressive eight.
He also set up Jannik Vestergaard’s opener after 20 minutes at Villa Park, so not only does he have a wand of a right foot, but his eye for an opportunity is second to none in the team. Ward-Prowse now boasts four goalscoring contributions in his last two games, which could be the start of an exciting streak for the 26-year-old.
The Englishman was ever-present under Hasenhuttl last season, establishing himself as one of Southampton’s key players. Indeed, he hasn’t missed a single minute of football this term either and has stepped up to the plate with the captain’s armband too.
With teammate Danny Ings resurrecting his England career due to his phenomenal form, Ward-Prowse might not be far behind. He has appeared twice for his country this year, but with his current rate of performances, it will be impossible to count him out as a midfield contender for the Three Lions.