In a positive Southampton transfer update, Ralph Hasenhuttl has iterated his strong belief that James Ward-Prowse won’t be sold this summer, despite interest from two Premier League clubs.
After Danny Ings completed a move to Aston Villa earlier this month, and with Jannik Vestergaard set to join Leicester City, Southampton fans may have been worried that they were set to lose another of their key players this summer due to the interest being shown in their captain.
Both Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur are said to be keen on signing the England international but the Saints are in a strong financial position due to player sales and Ward-Prowse being contracted until 2025, and Hasenhuttl seems confident that the 26-year-old won’t be leaving St Mary’s anytime soon.
The manager said: “This is normal I think. Prowsey (James Ward-Prowse) is a guy who everybody wants to have, but I don’t see a scenario for him not to be with us for the next few years.
“He knows he is the captain here, he knows how important he is for us and he feels good here, and we feel good with him. He has four years on a contract here, so the situation with him is a different one.”
Considering that Ward-Prowse was by far and away Southampton’s best performer in a less than consistent 2020/21 campaign for the team, it would have been a massive blow if he were to leave this summer.
The 26-year-old contributed an impressive eight goals and seven assists in 38 top-flight appearances, averaging a solid 7.07 rating from WhoScored for his performances, which comfortably ranked him as the top performer in Hasenhuttl’s squad.
Following Ings’ departure, the Austrian may well be looking towards his captain to be one of the main sources of goals and assists again this season, as it is difficult to know how new signings Adam Armstrong and Armando Broja will adapt to the Premier League.
Therefore, Southampton fans will surely be delighted with this latest update from Hasenhuttl, as keeping a player of Ward-Prowse’s influence and quality at the club could be huge in terms of steering the Saints away from the relegation places next season.