James Ward-Prowse: Tottenham and Aston Villa Test Southampton Star’s Commitment

James Ward-Prowse
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Moving on from two top players this summer, Southampton have definitely assumed the role of the seller this transfer window. However, the biggest test for the club could be about to come. Despite comments to the contrary, the Saints could be about to have their resolve tested as it pertains to club captain James Ward-Prowse.

According to a report from the Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, both Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing the Southampton star this summer. The report goes on to state that a bid from Tottenham for Ward-Prowse could come as early as next week. Given the 26-year-old’s status at the club, it is likely that only a substantial offer will be considered by Southampton.

Tottenham and Aston Villa Chase Southampton Star James Ward-Prowse

A Homegrown Star

An even more important question, though, revolves around Ward-Prowse himself. Namely, would the central midfielder even want to leave the South Coast club? A popular face both in the changing room and the stands, Ward-Prowse may be the Saints’ biggest star since Matt Le Tissier.

Born in Portsmouth, Ward-Prowse grew up in a family full of Portsmouth supporters. However, despite this connection, he would go on to join the Southampton academy at the age of eight. Making his senior side debut at the age of 16, he has grown into a major star for the Saints over the last ten years.

Impressively, the England international has, over the last two seasons, started every single Premier League match for Southampton. During this time, his fame quickly spread thanks in part to his wonderous free-kick ability. The 26-year-old has led the Premier League the last two seasons in free-kick goals with the Englishman scoring a whopping ten times from free-kicks over the course of his career.

Despite this, the more impressive feat may be the midfielder’s continuous improvement year over year. Scoring just three goals his first five seasons in the first team, Ward-Prowse looked to just be a solid young player. However, over the past five seasons, Ward-Prowse has gone on to score 28 times for the Saints.

Ward-Prowse Beyond Important

Combine the above with his academy roots and Ward-Prowse is easily the most beloved player in this Southampton side. A status not only held by the club’s supporters but also by those inside the club. Speaking during the club’s fan forum, Southampton CEO quickly squashed any rumours that James Ward-Prowse would depart the club this summer: “What is important to say is how important he is to us. He is an important player in the Premier League and every team would want him but for us, he is beyond that level. I have a list of the six new players in front of me and at least half, when they signed, said that they’re here because of the city, the manager and also to play with James Ward-Prowse – especially the younger ones.”

Throw in Ward-Prowse’s status amongst the supporters, and you have a player that isn’t likely to change clubs. While a strong bid from either Spurs or Villa could change this, he looks set to remain with a Southampton player for a long time to come.

 

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