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Southampton: James Ward-Prowse’s England display could increase summer suitors

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse scored his first England goal in their 5-0 win against San Marino in midweek, and Ralph Hasenhuttl should perhaps be concerned that it could increase interest in the 26-year-old ahead of the summer.

The Saints academy graduate has been a mainstay in the Austrian’s line-up so far this season, playing every single minute in the Premier League in a season where nearly every other player has been struck down by injury at one point.

He has also equalled his best-ever goalscoring season in the top flight with seven goals to his name in 29 appearances, which has seen him average an impressive 7.10 WhoScored match rating.

This ranks him as Hasenhuttl’s best performer in the Premier League and, after another excellent season with the Saints, it would not be a surprise if some clubs playing in Europe next season come knocking in the summer.

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Even if it was against San Marino, His performance also highlighted just how good he can be in a team which gives him the freedom to go forward and attack more, as he opened the scoring from open play, something he has managed just once in the Premier League this season, in the 2-0 win against Everton.

The rest of his goals have either come from free kicks or the penalty spot, which have also boosted his reputation this season, with Pep Guardiola remarking that he is the “best free-kicker taker I have seen in my life” earlier this season.

Whilst he did come close to a second goal against San Marino with a free kick, it was a superb all-round display from the Saints captain.

As per SofaScore, Ward-Prowse – who reportedly earns £45,000 per week at Southampton – earned a superb 8.3/10 match rating for his display, which was only bettered by Mason Mount with 8.8.

During the 90 minutes, the 26-year-old Saints man completed as many as five key passes whilst also registering a 94% pass accuracy, both of which are significant improvements on his average numbers in the Premier League this season.

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Although we must take into consideration the standard of the opposition, there is no doubt that Ward-Prowse was one of the standout performers for England in midweek; and if he produces similar displays in the European Championships during the summer, then it may be a struggle for Southampton to keep hold of him ahead of next season.

In other news… Hasenhuttl can amend key Saints issue next season with swoop for £10.8m-rated “great talent”

Article title: Southampton: James Ward-Prowse’s England display could increase summer suitors

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