In a show of loyalty to his boyhood club, James Ward-Prowse has signed a contract extension with Southampton. The 26-year-old club captain proved his commitment to the club by signing a new five-year contract. The new deal puts to rest the transfer rumours that, for weeks, have surrounded both the player and club.
Ward-Prowse is now set to continue his already 18-year-run as a player at Southampton. Signed to the club’s academy as an eight-year-old, the England international has grown and developed into a star player for the Saints. Playing every minute of the last two Premier League campaigns, Ward-Prowse’s status with the club is now secure.
James Ward-Prowse Signs New Southampton Deal
Captain. Leader. Extended. ✍️ pic.twitter.com/RZJM5H1WQ1
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 19, 2021
Prowsey, as he is affectionately referred to by the Saints supporters, currently sits as the club’s longest active tenured player. The Portsmouth-born midfielder first joined the Saints academy back in 2003. Working his way up through Southampton’s youth ranks, Ward-Prowse made his senior side debut as a 16-year-old back in 2011. Since that time, the 26-year-old has become the club’s most important asset.
Making 323 appearances for the Southampton first team, Ward-Prowse is the 28th player in club history to cross the 300 appearance threshold. During this time, the midfielder has also built an international reputation. Captaining the England U21’s during his time with the side, Ward-Prowse has since gone on to make eight appearances for the Three Lions.
Ward-Prowse: ‘I’m Not Finished Yet’
Quoted in the Southampton press release, Ward-Prowse seemed truly excited to extend his stay on the South Coast.
“I’m over the moon. I think I’m probably the happiest man in the world right now. To come to this decision, I think has been massive and is a big step forward. To commit my future again to this football club is something I’m incredibly proud of and a new chapter begins now for me.”
The 26-year-old also touched on the interest he reportedly received from several Premier League clubs.
“It’s probably the first time in my career that I’ve had that link away and that talk, but I think I was very keen to sit down and talk to the club and it’s worked both ways; they’ve sat down and told me their admiration for me and the way they want me to lead the team – and this club has done so much for me, I can’t put into the words the opportunities and chances that they’ve given me and I’m incredibly grateful for the club for doing that.”
Clinching a new deal with Ward-Prowse could prove to be a big moment in Southampton’s 2021/22 campaign. With several departures already this summer, the Saints could not afford to lose their star player. Set to continue with Southampton, the English midfielder himself says he could remain with the side for many years to come.
“I’m not finished yet here, I still have a lot left to give to this football club and I want to be there leading this team and ensuring I can give everything back and repay that faith the club have shown in me since I was eight years old.”