A major update has emerged about Southampton central midfielder James Ward-Prowse, with Aston Villa eyeing the England international.
According to The Guardian, Aston Villa are preparing to make an offer for Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse. The Premier League side want to improve their midfield options and have targetted Ward-Prowse because of his impressive set-piece ability, with Villa now seemingly set to open the bidding.
Villa are on the verge of completing a deal to sign midfielder Emi Buendia from Norwich for a club-record fee of in excess of £30m. However, the report does not state how much they are willing to pay for Ward-Prowse or how much Southampton would demand for their star man.
“I think it was the biggest change in his game since I’m here.
“He was always a good player and had a fantastic right foot but never nobody saw him defending or winning balls like he does at the moment.
“This is maybe something he had to learn, and he had to show me, he did it.
“After a few weeks when I was here, I could see this transformation in his game was there and in the end, in modern football, every player has to have everything, also the strikers have to work against the ball, and the centre-backs or the full-backs must be a number 10 when they have the ball.
“This is in modern football necessary, you cannot have any weakness and Prowsey is on the way to getting a full package.”
This news will surely lead to frustration and anger from Southampton supporters. They have become accustomed to seeing their best players walk out of the door over the past five or six years, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana just a few of the many players who have left to join top-six sides in the Premier League.
However, this would not be the case with Ward-Prowse and Villa as the clubs are considerably closer in the standings. Villa finished 12th in the Premier League in the 2020/21 campaign, whilst Southampton finished just three places lower in 15th.
Therefore, Southampton would not be selling to a top club battling in Europe and would, instead, be allowing one of their key players to join a close rival in terms of the final standings.
The £35k-per-week Saints captain was crowned the club’s Player of the Season last month after enjoying a sublime campaign in midfield. Ward-Prowse averaged a WhoScored rating of 7.07 in the Premier League and was the only Saints player to achieve a score of higher than 7.00, with Oriol Romeu (6.93) in second place.
This suggests that he is Southampton’s best player and they cannot afford to lose him this summer, let alone to a team who could be a direct rival, which is why fans could be forgiven for being extremely angered by this story.